Good composition is one of the key elements of what we’d call a good photo. Sometimes, it’s what turns a decent photo into a great photo. In this video, Peter McKinnon shares three composition tips that will help you improve your photos instantly. Other than newbies, I believe all those who feel they need to work on composition will find it useful
We can learn a lot about photography by observing and analyzing the works of the masters. Henri Cartier-Bresson is one of my favorite photographers of all times, the master of the decisive moment. Although he thought of photography as “immediate reaction,” he managed to combine prompt reaction with great composition.
In his two-part video series, photographer Tavis Leaf Glover was focused particularly on composition in Cartier-Bresson’s photos. He decomposes some of his images to show how masterfully used the principles of dynamic symmetry and geometry. If you want to learn from the master, these two videos are certainly something to watch.
Focal point is a term that photographers and photography blogs throw around continually. “Create a focal point,” it’s said, “it should be the first and last place the eye goes in your image.” That’s true, of course, but like most important things it’s easier said than done. A strong focal point is better thought of as the punctuation at the end of a carefully composed sentence. You need to know not only what makes the best single focal point, but also how to compose the sentence that precedes it.
First, consider what makes the best focal point; the best punctuation. There are a few things that your eye will shoot to first because of the way your brain processes visual information: points of high contrast, high sharpness, faces, human and animal forms, forward color tones (usually warm tones, like yellow) and recognizable objects that are large in frame (which reads as close). For effective punctuation of your visual sentence, you need an object or entity that creates interest and is comprised of at least one characteristic from this list.
When doing photography in general, and in my case Travel photography, the use of a photography template can be very beneficial and help improve the overall performance.
By photography template I mean pre-defined, well-known and efficient photography composition templates that are recurrent and relevant in photography, and fit popular “good taste”.
Knowing your usual and favorite photography templates will help you be faster and thus nail the shot when things happen very quickly, which is very often the case when photographing people.
A long time ago I was a young art student, being told about the “Rule Of Thirds”. I was told it’s one of the most important fundamentals of art and photography, as it helps you get the right composure in your images. Overlay a tic-tac-toe/noughts and crosses grid over your image and crop or move your picture around so that the “points of interest” lie on the lines or line intersections. Sounds simple, it has been the basis of countless millions of images throughout the centuries. But is it perfect? No! Is there a better, more badass brother to the grid? Yes! Enter the Golden Ratio.
Just to slow things down a bit, here’s what the Rule Of Thirds (I’ll call it the ROT grid from now on) looks like on a plain black background. Chances are you’re familiar with it, you’ve seen it pop up on your cameras viewfinder or as an overlay in Photoshop or Lightroom.
A while back me and fellow DIY writer Joseph Parry were chatting over messenger. We had just started following a blog called Canon of design by Tavis Leaf Glover. Canon of design is a treasure mine of compositional information, which studies the master painters and how they designed, constructed and finished their masterpieces. These guys spent months, even years creating one image. Nothing was left to chance. Composition was perfectly drawn out, over and over again, until the image was compositionally bullet proof. I could write multiple articles about the benefits of signing up to Canon of design, but I will let you make your own mind up about that, just make sure you check it out.
Of course it follows the rule of thirds, It has to to be a good photo, right? I am not sure. You can always “break the rules”, to make a good photo, which loughs at the composition rules…
This display of power from Photographer James Allen Stewart shows that there is no way around the rules, there are only more intricate rules that make a good photo.
This is probably one of the most comprehensive videos we’ve seen on the topic of composition. Though it was made with the intent to help out CGI artists, the advice educator Andrew Price dishes out to us in the 30-minute tutorial can be applied to just about any creative work, especially including photography and cinematography. Price is able to teach visual artists the foundations of composition as well as some more advanced techniques, making this video a useful tool for all skill levels of photographers.[Read More…]
It’s easy to pick just about any photography-related topic– exposure, lighting, etc.– and make the claim that it is the most important element of photography. By extension, that bold statement would mean that the element in question would also be the most important step to taking better photos. The truth is, though, that all of the components come into play each and every time we bring the camera to our eye. We continue, however, to give more weight to some than to others. Sometimes it’s because we’re learning something new, while other situations may be dictated by the subject or surroundings. For me, though, that quintessential element is composition. If the composition fails, the entire image fails. Now, I can already hear feathers being ruffled. Some of you are already scrolling down to the comments section to remind me that without proper exposure, composition becomes irrelevant. The reason I totally disagree is that I am confident in your ability to assess a scene and dial in the right aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. But telling your story– creating a photo that truly speaks for itself within the four corners of the frame– that’s a process that separates a photo that works from one that doesn’t.