An Approach to Composition

Composition is the cornerstone of good photography. Good composition is in the eye of the beholder (just like beauty).  Composition is both a set of rules that define in detail how to compose, and an evolving personal set of preferences for capturing images that satisfy your esthetics.  The rules are neither immutable nor all-encompassing.  The personal preferences are unique and evolutionary, based on experience, learning and opportunity.  For the most part your composition will also be constrained by your choice of equipment (kit) and your physical ability to select locations/points of view.  These are not limitations to creativity, only opportunity.

 The photographer is the first to view an image, and needs to be its worst critic.  As one begins to become more involved in photography (as in hooked on), one learns from a variety of sources that: one should adhere to the rule of thirds (unless).., never center an object (except)…,  and I’m sure I could find many more rules that ultimately may be creatively broken. 

Understanding some basic principles of good composition will allow you to evaluate your photos.  Some of the concepts that will presented for consideration are:

  • Rule of Thirds
  • Light
  • Color
  • Lines, Shapes and Patterns
  • Spacial Relationships

As you expand your horizons and develop your skill, keep composition at the top of your list of important aspect of photography.  Continuously check your photographs.  Keep a record of your best photos and keep in mind that if your file of best photos exceeds 20% of the total number of pictures you’re taking, you’re most likely not taking enough photos or you’re not being honest about the quality of your work.  With a digital camera. the only cost for taking more pictures is the time it takes to evaluate them.  You don’t have to take a roll of film to Walgreen’s anymore.

 

 

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