Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Ahmult, Aug 19, 2005.
If a photo is called badly composed, what does that mean?
Composing is what photographers/artists refer to when they talk about how they situate the subject or subjects to create a visual appealing image. Examples would be that the tilt or angle suits the image horizan isn't tilted way off, a persons face or body isn't cropped so that you lose important features, you don't overcrowd the image with clutter, etc.
Composition is largely a subjective thing. It is also something that can be very subtle.
If composition is used correctly in a picture then it tends to keep your interest. The subject matter plays a big part but composition can give an image a 'visual interest' that keeps the eye engaged.
It is also a means of bringing attention to the main subject of an image and for giving an image an overall 'feel' or mood.
Poor (or no) composition does none of these things. You glance at the image and move on.
Remembering that it is mostly subjective and that the subject plays a big part, 'poor composition' could be re-phrased as 'lacking visual interest'.
It means the viewer isn't into the photo. Composition is the arrangement of things in an image. A painting, drawing, photograph, etc... may be poorly composed to one person, and perfectly composed to the next. There are some general tips (often refered to as rules) about composition that can help an image look pleasing, but there have been many successful photos and paintings that don't follow these "rules".
Good composition means the photograph is pleasing to the eye.
You make a decision to frame a shot in a certain way rather than just raising the camera and hitting the shutter release. For instance, you may choose to frame a subject with some element of the photograph, position a path or fence in a photograph which leads the viewers eye to the subject or move one direction or another to eliminate an unattractive element in the background. As for the rules, know them but feel free to break them.
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