Perhaps more than any other industry, the field of photography has changed since the advent of the digital revolution. Some aspects of photography, however, will change, including the rules regarding how to compose a photograph so that it has timeless impact and interest.
Imagine a grid of thirds drawn over the viewfinder of your camera. The places of intersection are the places in the photograph that have the most visual impact. Whatever visual element you're attempting to bring attention to will have the most impact if positioned on one of the points of intersection.
The lines of an ideal photograph draw the viewer inward and keep him there. When composing a photograph, look for compositional lines such as curving roads, arms, etc. that lead into the photograph and circular pattern, such as the oval of a face, or a deliberate circular arrangement of the elements within the photograph to keep the viewers eye focused into the photograph's heart.
Framing doesn't mean the final treatment of the photograph once it's printed; it refers instead, to the use of compositional elements to create a natural frame for the photograph, which helps achieve the goal of step number two above, directing and containing the viewer's eye. Compositional framing can be accomplished by the use of things such as the trunk and overhanging branch of a tree, by photographing the subject through an open window, including the window's frame as part of the photograph, or even with one's fingers. Look for the opportunities when nature and happenstance conspire to allow you to "frame" your subject, such as the old hound dog sitting within the window frame of a rusting 1930's Chevy truck.
Perspective is one of the harder to grasp aspects of fine photography, yet it is one of the more powerful tools in a photographic artist's arsenal. Perspective references the relationship between the objects in the portrait ... their size, the distance between them and how they appear in relationship to one another. Perspective can be used to show depth, distance, scale and proportion, and can add great dramatic effect to a portrait or still life.
Negative space is somewhat related to framing, in that it's primary use is not to draw attention to itself, but to some other aspect of the photograph. Negative space can be the sand that fills all of the photograph except for the pelican that is your subject, or it can be the velvet drape upon which two wedding rings sparkle. It's the background when the background is not the subject of interest, but rather, used for the primary purpose of bringing attention to the photograph's primary point of interest. When used wisely, negative space contributes to the overall impact and interest of the photograph.
When thinking about a photograph's composition, it may be helpful to keep in mind that a masterpiece isn't so much "captured" as "created". Good photographers "make" photographs. They don't just happen upon them. God may have created a beautiful mountain range, sunset or girl, but it will be the choices the photographer makes concerning the elements that go into the capture that "make" a work of art.
Good detail spoken from a true artist.Anyone that makes things sound easy is a craftsman or woman. You do that well.
You make the art of composition sound so easy. These concepts are well presented. I will try to consider them the next time I am using my camera and maybe with some practice I will improve. Thanks!
select one here...