An action figure repelling from a string

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I think action figures or collectibles like this are some of the coolest things ever. The level of detail you can get with figures like these is phenomenal for the price you pay (along with the ability to easily pose for shots that you might not have other people to pose for). Having figures like this on standby is a must for macro photographers, as they can easily stand in for an absent live subject.

A Christmas ornament, shining like a disco ball

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Light is a photographer’s best friend when it comes to detail, as even the smallest amount of light can make a huge difference in a shot. Light combined with reflectivity, such as something shiny, can make for a pretty awesome visual combo.

Fake ducks posting up with some flowers on a banister

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Composition of a shot can also help the viewer of the photograph focus on what exactly you want them to see (such as in this photograph). I wanted to evenly distribute the amount of focus between the ducks, along with the flowers as well. In the end, you can still make out proper details on both of the ducks, while still guiding the viewer’s attention to the vase of flowers.

Spare change relaxing on a comfy coaster

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Texture in a subject is one of the most important factors of a photograph…and for good reason. Without texture, your subject could lose its emphasis – even worse, it could fail to grasp the viewer’s attention like it should. Texture in a subject makes the viewer have to truly take in what it is they’re looking at, while a viewers’ eyes could easily float by a texture less subject. A subject with texture will throw details at the viewer that are harder to miss.

A goose traveling downstream with its babies

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Color is another big factor in photography, as it not only helps emphasize subjects but also portrays things such as emotion. In this photo you can see that only the baby geese have color; while this example does not portray emotion, I wanted to make the viewer focus on the babies above all else. While this does help guide attention to certain spots of the photo, the color also plays a pretty neat role as a whole.

Plants housed in minimalist planting boxes

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While it’s more of a given, a photographer should always know what they want a photo to contain. Not everyone’s going to like every photo, so honing your skill is a must. Not every photograph will be a winner…and that’s okay! At the time I took this photograph I felt so confident in the theme of modern architecture binding with nature; however, now that I look back at it…not so much. From this I’ve learned to look for the message before a photo rather than after. As for some photos, the message they may contain is often more impactful than the visuals themselves.

A cute patch I discovered in Mrs. Dennison’s room

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Another important, but often overlooked, aspect of a photo is the angle at which it’s taken. The angle of your photograph is very important in emphasizing the subject. For example, had I taken this photo head on the patch would’ve been more of a flat, static subject. But because I took the photo at the angle I did, the subject gains depth and more texture. With this angle, the subject presents more detail such as the loops in the stitching and the shadow behind the patch as a whole.

Tree reflecting off the water of a local pond

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This photo can be a lot for some, but the emphasized trick here is reflection. Reflection can either seriously confuse the viewer or make them think about what they’re seeing. Reflection is a very risky trick, but if pulled off successfully it can make for some beautiful visuals.

A Keyboard in my graphic design class

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Focus, in my opinion, is the most important aspect of a photograph. An unfocused subject can totally nullify its presence in a photo and can mask the subject’s importance to the viewer. In this photo, I chose to focus on the closer part of the keyboard to add more depth to the object (as well as making it more interesting to examine).

Me and my friend Teia posing in a makeup mirror

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In this shot, you can find multiple things I’ve talked about in this essay: focus, composition, and reflectivity. I simply love the way this was shot…from me and Teia being on opposite mirrors, to the emphasis of the subject’s and overall composure. One final tip I can give from this essay is to get a little help from your friends! After all, there’s only so much a photographer can do on their own.

If you’ve made it this far, then I give you my thanks! It’s pretty awesome being able to do something I actually enjoy doing on a regular basis. Taking photos has always been something I’ve enjoyed doing and it makes it all the better doing it for people like you to see. I also want to throw a big thanks for my friend Teia! She inspired me to do this essay in the first place and take some pretty cool photos as well. Thanks a ton, Teia!