Class 7: Artistic Principles of Photography

In the first part of class we will share the photographs we took over the weekend, decide what we like about them, and develop a set of criteria for what makes a “good” photograph.

I will distribute a short handout that describes basic elements of composition: Make sure to file it in your binder. It includes information about composition, guiding the eye, and how to use lines. It is a a few pages from an excellent resource by Tom Ang: Fundamentals of Photography (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008). If you are seriously interested in exploring photography I encourage you to purchase it.

Here are some important terms:

  • Texture
  • Line
  • Colour
  • Shape
  • Form
  • Tone
  • Space

These short posts from a commercial photographer’s site excellently summarize each element, providing examples.

Basic Strategies in Reading Photographs provides a list of list of photographic vocabulary that you should become familiar with.

HOMEWORK (there may be time in class to start this): Using the CREATIVE COMMONS search feature of the photo sharing web site FLICKR.COM <>, search for one example of three different artistic principles listed above (three examples in total). Check the use rights for the image (meaning can you download it and put it in your blog), and write a short blog post including:

  1. The 3 images
  2. A link back to each original image in Flickr
  3. A short sentence for each photograph stating what principle the photograph demonstrates



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