How to Analyze a Photograph?

Understanding the basic composition of a photograph helps others gain a higher appreciation of the art form and can help photographers improve on their technique. It’s not hard to learn what look for in a photograph and what makes one photograph more appealing than another.
1. What does the camera angle tell us about the photograph? A low angle might make the subject seem larger than reality, while a high angle makes the subject look very small.
2. What does the framing tell us about the photograph? What is the main focal point of the photograph? How is the subject framed within the photo? A close-up might convey more power than a wide shot might. What is in the background of the photograph, and does that background add to the photo’s overall message?
3. What does the lighting tell us about the photograph? Is the subject lit very brightly, giving the impression of clarity and openness, or is the subject darkly lit, giving the impression of something mischievous or devious going on? Is the lighting soft with barely any shadows, or hard with sharp shadows.
4. What does the subject and its positioning tell us about the photograph? If there is more than one subject in the photo, how do the subjects relate to each other? Do we see the entire subject, or only a portion of it? If the subject is a person, is he/she looking at the camera or looking away? Is he/she serious, happy, sad, or mischievous?

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