Reprinted with permission by San Diego photographer Laurens Antoine

A Great Photograph in 5 Steps


All images have a spot most eyes naturally fall on. Where that is depends on the photographer. If the important element of your photograph is a person or thing, is that the first thing your eye falls on?

There are several ways to lead the eye to where you want them to land. One is exposure: for example having that place a little brighter in the photograph.  Another is depth of field: an example here is the landing spot for the viewer’s eye is the only portion of the photograph that is in sharp focus.

There can also be distractions in a photograph that cause the eye to lead away from the point in the photograph. For example: stray sunlight that causes a hot-spot. Or: a dominant object that leads the eye away from where you wanted it to land. Read what has to say about distractions.

Without proper composure, no photograph is pleasing.


You don’t need expensive lights, but you do need to be able to see light. The lighting should be balanced and if not, fill lighting should be added. You can do this with an in expensive flash, or more.

There’s no easy or quick way to explain lighting but you can learn an awful lot at  and you can see examples from master photographer Laurens Antoine at

Your camera

 It used to be that the camera itself wasn’t important but the lens was. In today’s world of complicated electronics you should be using advanced cameras from Nikon or Canon. You don’t need their most expensive models, entry level camera from these two companies do more than you’ll ever need!

Post processing

Yep, Photoshop or something equivalent. Adobe makes lighter versions of this popular software that almost every pro uses and even a perfectly taken photograph can stand a bit of adjustment.

You can adjust exposure, color, remove artifacts that are distracting and even add all kinds of special effects.

Learn natural lighting

Natural lighting doesn’t mean that you use the direct sun to light your photograph. In fact only top pros that know how to balance the sun with high powered strobes can do that and leave a pleasing effect. You need to learn how to use ambient light and watch for places the sun may be hitting directly and avoid them.

Natural ambient light can be a photographer’s best friend and once you learn to use it, you won’t believe how much your better your photographs will be!

That’s all for now!

Ashley Malchovich

Return the the San Diego Photographer home page