No matter if you use the latest full-frame camera or a smartphone, the composition is one of the most important elements of a good photo. This video from Advancing Your Photography channel is like chatting with photography masters about this topic. Photographers Chris Burkard, Bob Holmes, Chase Jarvis and Marc Silber talk about composition and give you plenty of wise tips they use in their work.
The video begins with a composition planning tip from Chase Jarvis. He shares that he prefers exploring the location by just walking around, without the camera pressed against his face. When you spend some time exploring and just looking around, you can see much more and plan your shots better. Jarvis also admits he often fantasizes about making the best possible picture before he starts taking the shots. This often means simplifying the frame, but also adding interest to the photo. In his work, he always tries to figure out how can he add a twist to his image and make it different, which is what turns a good photo into a great one.
Chris Burkard’s advice is to look for simple, little, everyday moments. Look for anything that could spark an interest or a meaning for the viewer. It’s good to have in mind that the most significant thing is often not what you’re seeing but what someone else may be seeing. Think about this too when creating a photo. He also adds that you should look for things that stack up and lead the viewer’s eye. Another remark supporting this is to pay attention to framing, as it can often be the key to a well-composed image.
Bob Holmes likes getting close to his subject and feel as a part of the scene. He advises that you should get fully involved with your subject and give them a 100% of your concentration. According to Holmes, scanning the edges of the frame is also important. As he puts it, we’re responsible for everything within that frame, so we’re also responsible if something that shouldn’t be there ends up in the photo. He mentions that the photos often need a punctuation point, which we can in a way call the “decisive moment.” And when it comes to shooting portraits, he points out that symmetrical composition often works in these cases.
Marc Silber talks a bit more about the “decisive moment.” Although it seems like it happens in a split second, it doesn’t mean you can’t previsualize it. It’s important where you position yourself and your camera. From there, you can previsualize the moment and anticipate the action you’ll capture when the time is right. Silber also points out that geometry is often an important element of the composition.
I always find it inspirational and very useful to hear what the masters have to say about composition and the art of photography. No matter how much I learn and how hard I try to compose my photos properly, I always learn something new or remind myself of something I’ve forgotten. So I hope you enjoyed this video just as much as I did, and that you’ll use some of these wise tips in your work.
[Composition Wisdom: 15 Tips for Amazing Photographs | Advancing Your Photography]