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The 4 Elements of a Great Candid Photo

Follow Craig Semetko's four simple rules of composition to up your photography game in 2017.
Images courtesy COOPH

Renowned (at least on our site) for a heightened sense of comedic timing, photographer Craig Semetko explains how to frame and capture the perfect moment in a new video from the Cooperative of Photography. Semetko specializes in candid street photography, capturing on-the-fly observations in a series called Unposed, which has been published in two books and is still ongoing.

Semetko's four pillars of compelling imagery are design, information, emotion, and timing, or as the instructional is titled, The Photographer's DIET. Using his own photos as examples, Semetko explains the importance of positioning subjects geometrically, hinting at a narrative, capturing faces and bodies in emotive positions, and seeking rare moments that last a fraction of a second.


Screencap via YouTube

Semetko, however, elevates one of these pillars above the rest. "To me, emotion is the strongest element. I want my photographs to immediately hit people in the heart, or the stomach, or somewhere a little lower. Then, after their initial emotional reaction I want them to use their intellect to realize how the elements of design, information, and timing heighten the emotion," he says.

Watch Semetko explain these four principles in-depth in the video below, and use them up your photography game in 2017.





See more of Craig Semetko's work on his website, and follow The Cooperative of Photography for more tricks of the trade.


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