As the complexity of the magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) techniques grows, it becomes more difficult for the practicing radiologist to appreciate the physical principles underlying these studies. Nevertheless, such an understanding is requisite for improving clinical image quality. As radiologists are most accustomed to dealing with medical images in everyday practice, it seems natural that an image-based approach to teaching MRA physics, rather than complex mathematical equations or pulse sequence diagrams, would be preferable. This article adopts such an approach. Simple ways to improve MRA image quality are emphasized along with new technologies and their physical basis. The ultimate goal of the article is to facilitate the practicing radiologist becoming more aware of the variety of MR techniques available, being more confident in modifying sequence parameters to improve image quality and reduce contrast dose, and understanding the basis behind newer MRA techniques.