Friday, August 29, 2014

DigPhotog: Photo Composition (U2-P1) Fa14

Remember our bumper-sticker saying: "You don't take a photo, you make a photo"?

Put another way: You compose a photograph.  You don't just take it.

Composition is the arrangement of the objects in the photograph or any other work of art.  As a photographer you have some control of this arrangement in your photograph.  You can move objects around.  You can move yourself around to shoot your photograph from a different perspective.  You take some control over your environment and not just take a photo of what you are given.

In general there are rules of composition that are used in art in general and photography specifically.

One of the best online sources for an introduction to the rules (or guidelines) of photo composition can be found at  Go to this site and study carefully the six rules of composition discussed there.

Now, how would you apply these rules in your photograph.  Go try it.  Now go take some photos -- I mean go make some photos.

Of course, there is more to composition than the above, but the above are the basics.

For example, Itten's contrasts provide another way of looking at and exploring composition.  For an online exercise using Itten's contrasts, see The 12 Days of Itten’s Contrasts from the Wild Beat blog.

To go beyond the above basics about composition, I'd recommend The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos

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