A Photo Study

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”

~Henri Cartier-Bresson

After reading Henri Cartier-Bresson’s quote, I realized that one may just mindlessly click away 10,000 times with hope that…maybe, just maybe…accidentally…one image will be an A+ A+ A+ photograph (see the movie, “A Christmas Story”).

Then…a shower thought…maybe that one triple A+ image really only arises after 10,000 intentional shutter releases.  Can you just image being present to,  thinking through, and connected with each transient moment 10,000 times?   In reality this would be like setting out on a  journey of 10,000 steps knowing that one will never reach the destination.

Life’s a journey not a destination And I just can’t tell what tomorrow brings Aerosmith, Amazing.

Yet, what is an important part of a 10,000 endeavor?  To create a triple A+ image?  Or to undertake a photo study journey accompanied by fun, education, knowledge, experience, and exploration?  I’ll go with the fun of creating and opening myself to the beauty of Mother Earth so this photo study blog journey is an encouragement to–not create a triple A+ image–be more intentionally present with each click of the shutter.

If you would like to join me on this 52-week learning journey, please know you are very welcome.  I have included topic headings and links below…you are invited to pick and choose.  If there is a element of photography you would like to explore, let me know.  So that others can follow us on WP Reader, let’s tag with #aphotostudy.

Basic Elements of Visual Composition

  • Rule of Thirds –  the element of composition that begins with dividing an image into thirds, horizontally and vertically, creating nine imagined sections.
  • Rule of Odds – not a rule, law, or expectation.  A guideline created by how the composition within an image may gift us with the balance we unconsciously seek
  • Rule of Space – offers the photographer a way to create a sense of motion, activity or conclusion within one’s composition and that it simply involves creating negative space that relates to the subject within the image.
  • Lines – don’t actually exist in nature they are most likely the most basic element of visual composition
  • Shape – the basic two-dimensional element within composition, is defined by line, space, color, and contrast of differing light areas
  • Simplification and Negative Space
  • Negative Space – In photography negative space is perhaps the most important element as it embraces the subject within your image — the element of interest — helping it stand out and inviting the viewer’s attention.
  • Rhythm
    • Rhythm I – all around us are shapes that are pretty basic and similar to each other. We will see them repeating at regular intervals within nature, design, works of art, architecture, and photography
    • Rhythm II – the primary characteristic of rhythm is predictability and order.
    • Tempo – the means by which we display speed, movement, as well as the passing of time all within a frozen moment.
  • Framing within Framing -a picture in a picture. This technique invites a viewer’s eye into an image through the use of natural or man-made elements.
  • Triangles – It is easy for the eye to see triangles and they are often created through the use of three prominent points of interest, particularly if they are similar in content and size.


  • Tone – the degree of lightness and darkness.
  • Red –  a photo walk with an intention to see and photograph “red”…
  • Shutter Speed – a basic photographic component, is defined as the amount of time your camera allows light to enter your camera.
  • Etienne Bossot – composition templates
  • Abstract Photography – drawn from skills that are different from other forms of art.
  • Story Photography – converting a story through the inclusion of emotion, mood, ideas, and visual narrative.
  • A Color Primary – an elementary review of color theory
  • Light – the five characteristics of light

The Photographer

  • The Photographer I , the basic third element in photography who stands on one side of the camera, looking through the view finder, seeing and focusing.
  • The Photographer II – before I go shoot, I’ll consult internally to focus on one thing I want to capture, and have that point of departure.
  • The Photographer III – the photographer’s learning curve…cringe
  • The Photographer IV – learning the art of photography

Point of View

  • High-angle Photography – is created when the photographer is situated above her subject(s)–upper floors of a buildings, at the top of stairs, up on a ladder, holding the camera above the head–and the camera is focused downwards.
  • Low-angle Photography – to create images from any point below eye level which gives the effect of looking up at an object or person.

Street Photography

Contemplative Photography

Landscape Photography

Developing Your Personal Style