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4 Ways That Photographers See Things

Professional photographers will consider lots of different things that many of us have not even thought about before pressing the shutter button of our camera. This article will explore the different ways that photographers see things. In other words, what are they looking for in a photograph?


Many of us will consider lighting as either dark or light. We do not want our image to be so dark that there is no light in someone’s face, or so that we cannot make out any of the objects in the photograph. To ensure this, we will often use the flash inside when there was already enough light coming through the window because it was daylight. This has the potential to generate a photograph that is overexposed. In other words, shows too much light.

All photographers will know to keep the sun behind them outside but how many will think about its shadow until afterwards? An unwanted shadow can make half a face dark or spoil part of a photograph. So, it is worth spending time looking for a shaded area.

Professional photographers will use filters to make a sky bluer or reduce reflection. With digital photographs, filters are less useful because image manipulation software can afterwards be used to create a whole manner of effects to enhance an image. A filter, really, was an early piece of computer software working in real-time.

The Smile

It is a known thing that you want your human subject to smile. Obviously, we cannot expect it of an animal, although some are naturally photogenic. However, when photographers are on model shoots, they will often want the opposite. They might want a moody shot that portrays a quite different emotion. Those in the business will have a knowledge of the different facial expressions and body language required to represent a particular emotion.

The first reference to “cheese” being used as a word to make someone smile originates from the Big Spring Herald, when in 1943 it printed: “Now there’s something worth knowing. It’s a formula for smiling when you have your picture taken.”

The Landscape

To capture a good landscape, professional photographers will use neutral density and polarizing filters rather than just consider capturing it naturally. This will enhance the natural elements of the landscape. You may not, for the perfect magazine image, for example, want to see unwanted reflections that the sun has added to water. This is where a polarizing filter is invaluable in minimizing such reflection. Not only that, polarizing filters enhance the blues and greens within a shot. A tip for best results is to position yourself and your camera between 45 and 90 degrees to the sun. This is as opposed to having the sun either facing you or directly behind you. Primarily what experience photographers will be trying to make sure when they shoot a landscape is that they have a balanced exposure between their foreground, which is normally darker, and their sky which is brighter.


Whereas a beginner will by trying to capture an animal in the cutest pose possible, an experienced photographer will be looking to capture the animal in a more natural pose. That is, within its natural habitat. This requires a good deal of patience waiting for the right shot as there will be natural obstacles to capturing it. For instance, trees and bushes to obscure the animal from view. Then, there will be a decision about how close you can get without spooking the animal and taking away all chances of a photograph. So, when photographing your pet, consider what else it does other than appear to smile at you.

In conclusion, the above are all areas of photography that can be thought about more deeply, but it does depend on what type of photograph you are ultimately trying to achieve and whether you want to manipulate the photograph afterwards or keep it exactly how you took it.