The Language of Photography


Photography can be considered a visual language. Photos capture an event and that instance that is frozen in time can communicate a story. Let’s take a look at some elements that make up the language of photography.


One of the factors that can make or break a photo is the lighting. When we take a photo, the lens of our camera records light. In communicating, we often rely on our five senses and we can say the same for photography. We rely on the photo, our vision, in order to relay the message of that captured moment. With lighting, we can depict the mood and evoke feeling from the one viewing the photo.

Credits: filby, mafiosa, punck & lazybuddha


Timing is another element that makes a good photograph. Some of the most iconic photographs from famous photographers that we have come to love were taken at the right time. Photographic opportunities happen in a split second and capturing that perfect moment can effectively portray the message of a memory captured in time.

Credits: fivedayforecast, crismiranda, cyanwater, satvika & libellule


The proportion was something that photographers took into consideration when composing shots. Just like renaissance artists, the ratio and proportion had a lot to do with the final look of the artwork. The aesthetic quality of a photograph is somehow dependent on proportion since you can control where you want your subjects to be placed on a frame.

Credits: jennson, sonvisen, lilithmoon & renaishashin


By emphasizing your subject when framing, you can capture the attention of the viewers and make them see the focus of your photo and the story that you want to tell. Watch and observe your subject before taking the photo as each second can tell a different story.

Credits: vicuna, endorphin, earlybird, albeelee & emkei


The colors in photography add another element to your photo that can tell a story. Use colors to your advantage and you’ll eventually learn how to tell a story with them. Warm and bold colors grab our attention and can make a photo more interesting. Play with colors to get amazing results.

Credits: drame, pierlu_rmr, earlybird, lazybuddha & happytea

These are some of the elements that make up the language of photography. Each element contributes to telling a story.

This article was written by jeanmendoza.

written by jeanmendoza on 2012-02-22 #lifestyle #language #light #color #photography #composition #photographs

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