Personally, I don’t feel there really is a “way” to take photographs. Photos taken can be of any angle, size and composition. A way to take good photographs however does not require skill, but requires the basic knowledge that stems from those categories mentioned.
How I got into taking photographs, was that I took images of anything and everything that I thought was interesting to look at in my eyes, and to store them all as memories. The only way you’re going to be able to recognize this is the composition of your pictures. This can be of different elements such as colour, pattern, space and perspective. You notice the different shadows and tones that appear in the different angles. Henri Cartier-Bresson was the master of compositions of photography, taking pictures in the ‘decisive moment’.
Rule of thirds.
The rule of thirds is an important factor to consider when taking good photographs. On a digital camera, you can often get this feature up so you can help measure your image while you take it. The rule of thirds allows you to focus on a single point of the picture, or an area where you may want the audience to focus more on.
Cropping helps you to control the composition of your image. If you found something you did not want in the picture, you can edit it out to allow anything else in that image to become the ultimate focus. Cropping your image can give a whole different perception from the picture, and can almost tell two stories judging by the change in the images.
Perspectives correlate very nicely with the composition. The viewpoint of the picture can again tell a completely different story if you were to take an image from a bird’s eye view, to it being sideways. Your eyes and your lens see the different perspectives of an image very different when you play around with this. Bill Brandt is an excellent example of someone who played around with perspectives; he gives his landscape images an abstract feel to them.
Lighting in an image is as important as any other factor above. The lighting in an image can completely change the mood of the image, as well as the quality you wish to produce. You can abuse the use of light you can to show very surreal, eerie places, or use light to make that same place look mystical and brightly coloured. During the day, the light changes depending on the weather and position of the sun. Usually, the hours where the sun is rising or setting appears to be the most popular time to take photos. The sunlight tints the sky in reds and oranges, shading trees and buildings as well as highlighting their features also, giving the image a very pretty and scenic feel.
I thought about this point, and I thought of the idea that you took that picture at that time for a reason. Because you took that image for that reason, in that time, is what gives the image its character. The image you look at has been positioned in such a way and developed in the chosen way to how you prefer. If you take images that are interesting to you, it is likely others will be interested in this too. Often you have to question to what draws you to taking and looking at that image after; what is it that stopped you and made you take that picture?
As you can see, there is no specific way to create photos. As long as you have a general understanding of these guidelines, you can create anything striking. Photography doesn’t have to be taken from the best cameras around, they just have to mean something to you and have some underlying reason to why you took that picture.