How to create unified photos

Click each photo for a lesson in unity.


We have now covered four of the 5Cs. Each of your photos should contain interesting content. They require good composition to make them aesthetically
pleasing. They should have clarity so viewers experience what you intend. They should be creative enough to appear unique.

Finally, and most importantly, everything in your photo must add up to a unified whole that works. In the words of Elliot Porter:

Ultimately, to be successful as a work of art, a photograph must be both pleasing and convincing. It must not leave the viewer in doubt about the validity of its subject, whether representational or imaginary. Every part must contribute to the unity of the image from corner to corner — no discordant note should be permitted.

Novice photos typically contain interesting content, beautiful color or other strengths but some of the individual parts don't work together to project a unified concept, message or experience. In a photo that is not unified, viewers see the individual parts but in a unified photo viewers see a whole that adds up to more than the sum of its parts. This is how a photographer is able to communicate complex visual messages such as beauty.

As you compose a photo you should always be aware of how components are working together as a whole. These lessons demonstrate a few of the most powerful factors you can use to unify your photos.