Composition Question

Discussion in 'Specific Technical Assistance' started by streettrailpark, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. streettrailpark

    streettrailpark TPF Noob!

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    A lot of people are saying my composition for most photos is boring and/or sucks, especially so for one I took just today. I can't really think of how to compose it better, so I was wondering if anyone had tips or suggestions.

    Heres the photo:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Remi M.

    Remi M. TPF Noob!

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    Think about the background when your shooting your subject. Is a gas station and power wires really a good backdrop for your subject. Try to simplify the background. Try shooting from down low aiming up, with the sky as a background, or shoot down from up high with only the concrete below. I don't know if you have a SLR or a PnS camera, but if you have a SLR, try shooting with a wide aperture. It will blur the background simplifying it.

    Without getting into allot of rules about composition, just try to resist the urge to only think about the subject and centering it in the frame. Composition is all about thinking of the image as a whole rather than just the subject.
     
  3. PhotoPhoenix

    PhotoPhoenix TPF Noob!

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    a good tip would be to take photos NOT how you would normally see them. this looks like a normal angle. i skate and i see this all the time when waiting for my turn to drop in. cool photos that make people gawk are photos that do not look like what we see everyday. like the previous comment, think about what's in the background. gas stations really don't add anything to this. a low angle with the clouds in the background and the line of the edge coming in would have been sick. live and learn..

    edit: also, if you're going to be shooting that close, you might consider switching to a wide angle lens.
     
  4. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Not true at all from my photojournalist backgrounds. You want to see things as they are, with more interest.
    Personally, I like the photo. It lacks some professional nuances, but I think it works well.
    To better the photo, I would crop right into the rider's head, and focus on the cool shadow. If you are being pj on this, that is about all you can do.
    If you aren't pj, I'd say do a major overhaul on the buildings and powerlines, crop still but less, but keep your focus on the shadow.

    Needs work, lots of it, but me likes and I think it is worthy of further contemplation and work.
    Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. PhotoPhoenix

    PhotoPhoenix TPF Noob!

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    eh. this isn't photojournalism either. i'd agree if it were photojournalism. this is an extreme sport. playing around with different angles and views that aren't normal would relflect the sport. all extreme sports are different and honoring that with different compositions would be awesome.
     
  6. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    I tend to agree with elsapet that cropping to the essentials will make the important elements stand out. Getting rid of distracting stuff at top makes the 2 diagonals of boy with bike and shadow pop out more.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Could you be more specific? I do not understand why you don't believe this is journalistic.
     
  8. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    i think he's viewing more from a . . . sports photographers view, and in that industry it pays off big time to have an entirely unique shot with strong design elements, a surreal sense. i think in this case i agree that it should be approached from a different pov than if you were just standing around watching. if i ever get a chance to shoot this kind of thing i may walk away with a broken camera attempting some of my shots, i think sports photography is SO dependent on those pro nuances you spoke of before.

    in this case i believe the biggest improvment that could be made would be to simplify the background, by as someone else said getting either higher or lower.

    but at the same time if you can pull off a shot with all that stuff in the back then by all means go for it, but this shot isn't pulling that off.
     
  9. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I see what you are saying Mike. Prolly why my sports stuff never sold well. LOL.
    I'm still foggy on it though. To me, journalism should be a "real" moment in time. Yes, a great angle will make all the difference, but being "straight on" does not disqualify it.
    IMO, the shadow play in the corner is a real keeper. That is what I find to be so interesting and unique.
    Thanks for the explaination. I'm just not sure if I fully agree.
     
  10. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    yeah, and i don't think its one of those things people will all agree on, especially sports people talkingto wpja folks like yourself!

    if you listen to the portfolio critiques in the student portfolio of the year video on sportsshooter.com i think you'll see how INTO that graphic design look they are.
     
  11. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Hey, I was a member of sportsshooters. :) But like I said, I was never any good at it, at least not saleable.

    But let me ask you philosophically..........this was in the "how can I make it better" category. The poster knows it has inherent problems. But do you honestly think that it's a bad photo? I think it's quite redeemable. While it has problems, I don't think it's bad. Could it have been better? Sure. There are very few photos out there that couldn't be better. The advice given about angles is good, but we are working with THIS photograph, and how to make it better. :)
    IMHO
     
  12. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    o . . . see i read this entirely different, like he was wanting to know for in the future.

    at any rate i recommend streetrailpark check out sportsshooter.com, i think you will find it invaluable.
     

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