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What Makes Beautiful Photography?

beautiful photography

The Process of the photograph has changed. Earlier the photos needed several steps and chemical bathing. Now it is the age of smartphones and hdr cameras to get an instant photo. The factors for creating a beautiful photograph are still the same. There are so many historical photographs, some are blurred, some are grainy or black and white, but they all are beautiful and still attracts its viewer. These photos have a mixture of historic value and photographic qualities. The main rules of a beautiful photograph are Photography lighting, Timing, and Emotion. Here is the list of principals of beautiful photography which have remained same the test of time and made these historic images outstanding:

  • Stress the Eyes: Migrant mother

Dorthea Lange’s Migrant Mother is an iconic image which shows that the knowledge of a portrait pro photographer is still a priority and that is the focus on eyes. If you read you can understand that the woman had seven children who survived by eating frozen vegetables and small birds. But by seeing the photo, the viewer can understand the mother’s worry for her children as it was clearly visible in her eyes. The eyes are not the only highlight of the photograph, the placement of hands and her two children reflecting each side of the mother were also captured and delivered to the viewers beautifully. Even for professional headshots focus on eyes stays an important factor.

  • Timing: Muhammad Ali Vs. Sonny Liston

The timing stands as an essential factor for sports photography. The perfect capture of “Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston” is an image in the history of sports. The image was captured at perfect timing when Ali won against Liston. You can find this photograph in photography sites.


  • Emotion: VJ Day Kiss at Time Square


VJ Day Kiss at Times Square by Lt. Victor Jorgensen is a beautiful image which captures a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square on the day when Japan surrendered after World War II. This is a soft subject. This image does not capture any scenic view or sunset, but still, it became famous. It is because of the emotion behind the image. Any image which can capture the emotion becomes beautiful. For urban photography, a photographer tries to catch the emotion of a place and people living there.


  • Leading Lines: The Tetons and the Snake River


The Tetons and the Snake River is on the list of beautiful photographs. The light, exposure and the way the Snake River goes to the mountains is now like raw material for landscape photography or aerial photography. The wonderful combination of the line of the river and the light makes the photo an incredible shot.


  • The Rule of Thirds: The Flag Raising at Iwo Jima


The Flag Raising at Iwo Jima in Japan in 1945 by Joe Rosenthal’s is an iconic photograph as it illustrates one of the rules of thirds the new photographer still study or learn today. This image meets one of the crossed lines on the greed which was created by the marking line in two places those are at the flag and at the soldier standing first. There are so many historical images which use the Rule of Thirds. You can join some photography classes to learn the rule of Thirds if you are new in photography.


  • Colour: Earthrise


The breathtaking image of Earthrise by William Anders will always be famous in the history of beautiful photographs as this captures the colours beautifully. The photo was captured by the astronaut while orbiting the moon. The actual shot was in black and white. But the colour makes the image iconic and attracts the viewer’s eyes. The eyes are drawn to the only colour in the image, and that is the blue colour of the planet earth which we call home.


  • Creativity: Untitled Film Still


Cindy Sherman, an accomplished photographer, challenged the idea behind photography. Instead of documentation, she treated a photograph as a performance of art. She had presented self-portraits which were unusual at that time and motivated the fine art of photography category to a new level. Her shot “she called the Untitled Film Still #21” is beautiful and highly creative. This was an imaginary scene created by her.

All the beautiful images mainly concentrate on three things: the eyes, the emotion and the timing- the rule of Thirds and other techniques as per requirement. Beautiful photography is a combination of timing, colour, and creativity.

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