Once you get started and played around with Midjourney (here is our beginner guide), eventually you find the need you might need a lot more knowledge about what to type into the prompt. Not the parameters themselves, but if you’ve ever seen a prompt that someone used that looks like this:

If you want a list of prompts that covers more artistic styles and lighting prompts, check out our guide on Etsy. With PHOTO20 you get a 20% discount.

Prompt: a blind man with thick glasses stands behind a glass counter in a gun shop VISUAL STYLE: cinematic, GENRE: action, DIRECTOR: ridley scott, SUBJECT(S): a man with coke-bottle glasses, TIME PERIOD: Modern, COLOR: Neutral Tones, FORMAT: Digital, FRAME SIZE: 2k, LENS SIZE: 35mm, COMPOSITION: Off-Center, LIGHTING: Natural, LIGHTING TYPE: soft, TIME OF DAY: morning, ENVIRONMENT: Interior, LOCATION TYPE: gun shop, SET: gun shop, CAMERA: Tripod, LENS: Anamorphic, FILM STOCK / RESOLUTION: 2K

You end up thinking – “great, now I need to study photography for a year to learn how to generate images on a computer”. Well, look no more as we can give you a great starting point that will surely keep you busy in generating whatever you can think of.

Size – it’s always about size!

Size in this case is about what you want to take a photo of, in this case called the subject. Here’s a picture from StudioBinder to simplify this concept:

From Midjourney’s Discord FAQ, by user clarinet, here’s a short guide on what you can use for angles that will eventually determine the size of your subject.

Words like angle, view, shot, and perspective  are good ones to try.

If you want the camera far away, try these:

  • Wide-Angle Shot or Wide-Angle – The camera is far away from the subject
  • Far-Shot, or Far-Angle – The camera is far away from the subject and below or above it
  • Aerial View or Aerial Perspective or Satellite View or even Drone Footage – The camera is far away looking down on the subject

If you want the camera more evenly positioned, try these:

  • Medium-Shot or Medium-Shot Angle – The camera is low, looking up at the subject
dalmatian dog playing at a beach, medium shot, canon EOS R5
  • Top-Down Shot, or Top-Down Perspective – The camera is high, looking down at the subject
dalmatian dog playing at a beach, top-down shot, canon EOS R5
  • Ground-Shot or Ground-Shot Angle or sometimes Ground Angle – The camera is high, looking down at the subject
dalmatian dog playing at a beach, ground shot, canon EOS R5
  • High-Angle Shot or High Angle – The camera is fairly high, looking down at the subject
  • Low-Angle Shot or even view from floor level looking upwards – The camera is very low, looking way up at the subject
dalmatian dog playing at a beach, low-angle shot, canon EOS R5
  • Full-Shot, or Full-Body Shot, or Full-Length Shot – The camera captures the entire subject
  • Dutch-Angle or Unusual Angle or Surreal Angle – The whole shot slanted, diagonal horizon, evil villain style
dalmatian dog playing at a beach, dutch-angle shot, canon EOS R5

Finally, for close up shots use these:

  • Eye-Level Shot – The camera is fairly close and looking levelly at the subject
  • Close-Up – The camera is close to the subject
  • Glamour Shot or Glamour Portrait – The camera is intimately close to the subject
  • Macro-Shot or Macrophotography – The camera is like a microscope, close to the subject

Photo types – what kind of photos are we looking for

Lastly, think of the photo type: Think of what type of picture you want to have – selfie, portrait, realistic image, photorealistic image, personal portrait, macro shot, candid shot, close-up portrait, etc.

  • Cinematic or Cinematic Still-Shot  – Typically dynamic lighting effects, cinema-like framing, and photographic qualities
  • Magazine Photography – Typically an eye-level or wide-angle shot with even lighting and photographic qualities
  • Photographer’s Name – Shot will inherit the compositions and film qualities of the named photographer
  • Photographed by + a media source, like  Sports Illustrated or Vogue  will create camera angles and framing common to the source
  • NatGeo for action shots that have some type of dramatism to it, blurry background and the photo will tell a story
  • Product photography if you want photos that you normally see in magazines of objects
  • Directed by + an artist or literal director, like  Peter Jackson  or  Stanley Kubrick  will create camera angles and framing common to the source

Explore and try other things like:

  • Nature Photography
  • Stock Photography  
  • Food Photography
  • Wedding Photography
  • Portrait Photography
  • Sports Photography
  • Action Photography
  • RandomWord Photography
  • Photographer names!  (look at our Knowledge base article for inspiration)

Camera attributes

If you’re like me, and are clueless when it comes to cameras, here are a few pointers to what to add:

  • Camera model: This one is tricky, unless you have tried all these cameras to understand the difference, it will be hard to figure out by itself. But here are some famous camera models – Sony a7R IV camera, Nikon D850 DSLR, Canon EOS R5, Hasselblad X2D 100C, Kodak Portra 800, Fujicolor Superia X-TRA 400, etc. What is more interesting here is to use very specific cameras like Polaroid, Autochrome and so on.

Camera attributes that impact zoom in photography

  • Focal length and lens type: Focal lens can be simplified to mean zoom – the bigger the number, the higher the zoom and closer you are to the subject. You can go with these settings – 18mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm, 200mm, etc. This means for landscapes, use lower values, for portraits, higher. Check out our Knowledge base article for a HUGE collection and examples.
https://www.nikonusa.com/en/learn-and-explore/a/tips-and-techniques/understanding-focal-length.html

Camera attributes that impact blurriness in photography

  • Depth of field and aperture: Depth of field refers to the distance between the closest and furthest elements in an image when they’re in acceptable focus. To simplify again, it means how blurry you want the background to be. You can use keywords like these in your prompt – narrow/shallow depth of field, wide/deep depth of field, bokeh, etc. Aperture refers to how much of your photo remains in focus and you can experiment with these values – f/1.4, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6,  f/8, f/11, f/16, and so on.
http://www.boostyourphotography.com/2014/10/depth-of-field.html
  • Shutter speed: Just like aperture and ISO, you can define a shutter speed for images you create on Midjourney to determine how shots of moving elements look in your image. Low shutter speeds can result in motion blue while high values can obtain eliminate motion from a moving object. You can experiment with your Midjourney prompts with the words “shutter speed” followed by any time value in seconds like – 5s, 2s, 1s, 1/4s, 1/60s, 1/120s, etc. 

Camera attributes that impact light in photography

  • ISO value: Specifying the ISO value for a photo determines the brightness at which the camera renders the scene. You can specify ISO values when creating AI art with Midjourney so that it knows how bright an image is. For that, you can specify the word “ISO” alongside any of these values in your input prompt – 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12,800, 25,600, etc; ISO values follow a geometric progression, so you’ll have to enter these values as they are. 
  • Lighting type: Use keywords like – natural light, dreamlike lighting, dramatic lighting, soft sunlight, golden light, film light, sunlight, back lighting, bottom lighting, top lighting, hard lighting, contrasty lighting, neon lighting, etc.

How to write the correct prompt

As a best practice, try to follow this following template:

/imagine <subject> <environment> <color> <mood> <composition> This would be something like our example above /imagine dalmatian dog playing at a beach, low-angle shot, canon EOS R5

But you can easily swap composition with subject like this, and in a way it feels more natural: /imagine a low-angle shot of a dalmatian dog playing at a beach shot on a canon EOS R5

Subject: this is the central element of the picture – it can be a person, multiple persons, animals, inanimate objects, flowers etc

Environment: With relevant keywords, describe the setting in which your subject is present. You can enter something like indoors, outdoors, on the moon, underwater, on a sidewalk in Paris, inside an empty/busy restaurant, in a savannah under a tree during sunset etc. 

Color: Here you can try to specify specific colors, and I’ve seen some very interesting experiments with this (I saw a marshmallow shop interior design made entirely in pink). But also you can think of groups of colors or attributes that describe groups of colors, like colorful, black and white, monochromatic, vibrant, muted, bright, vibrant, shy and so on. 

Mood: This refers to how dramatic your image looks which you can specify using keywords like – angry, calm, explosive, energetic, etc. 

Composition: This is everything that has to do with the camera settings/attributes.

How to NOT add something to a photo

Midjourney has negative prompts with the use of the --no command. It doesn’t not always work exactly how you expect, but you can certainly use it to eliminate either colors --no red, or various elements you don’t want to appear in your photography.

Add this at the end of the prompt. In fact add any parameters at the end of the prompt.

Prompt weights

You can ask Midjourney to put more emphasis on part of the image more than the others. Here’s how it works.

The prompt itself is using double colon :: with a number behind it. The higher the number, the more important Midjourney will place on it.

Default is one, so if you want to change the focus of a picture, you would type something like this:

/imagine <prompt 1>::4 <prompt 2>::3 <prompt 3>::2 <prompt 4>::

In this example prompt 1 will be the most important, the second prompt will follow and so on.

Here’s an example with the image weight and without it, but to be honest I find both images to be quite good with or without the weights (ignoring the amount of balls the juggler needs to focus on).

Read more:

If you want a list of prompts that covers more artistic styles and lighting prompts, check out our guide on Etsy. With PHOTO20 you get a 20% discount.

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1 Comment

  1. The article effortlessly balances technical know-how with artistic vision. The inclusion of great examples throughout the article serves as a testament to the power of Midjourney.This is a great guide for aspiring photographers seeking to explore this genre, this article is an invaluable resource that will inspire and elevate their creative journey.

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