composition rules exposed..

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by mysteryscribe, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I started this explanation of why preaching composition rules on a forum is a really bad idea, but I decided that I was going to end up with a text book. Let me say this as simply as I can. When a new photographer is sent out to read the rules of composition, nobody bothers to tell him that every rule has hundreds of subtleties. So he runs out and makes his pictures using the rules and thinks my god this is easy, I finally understand all there is to photography. His pictures aren't better because he has been exposed to the so called rules. What he is ... is the guy with the little bit of knowledge that is a dangerous thing.

    See I cut that down a heck of a lot. There are no easy answers.

    See if your community college has night classes in adult education photography. If so sign up and you might learn a little about composition. If not shoot pictures, shoot more pictures and when you are sick of it, shoot more pictures. Post them in the galleries and ask for edits and comments. You will begin to understand a little at a time. Good luck and take all these guys, me included, with a full shaker of salt.
     
  2. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    Rules are a first step; second is to trangress them. But one has to start from the first step, not directly on a second. Then if someone, just by following some basic rules, sees herself already as a master or something it's only her problem.
    I prefer thinking that people will understand they are only following the ABC of photography, and precisely because of that, see themselves as beginners. If someone doesn't and thinks that's all there is to know, that is, as I say, a problem she has. And, by the way, I think she would feel exactly the same if following no rules -or even more that way, you know: I am the man and didn't even need any rules or learning of any kind!

    Rules are like obbeying your parents: you need to first do it only to later find out sometimes you need not doing it.
     
  3. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Well don't worry about not being an expert there are planty here who are rofl. I do not consider myself to be an expert either. but like i said there are plenty who do.
     
  4. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    and does not have to do with having followed or not certain rules, does it?

    I get your point on rules, and basically agree, but as I said I think that's only for when you've already followed them -as I guess you some time did. For the one who begins from scratch rules are somehow "needed" (please note: somehow)
     
  5. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    To me it is not clear if you are trying to discuss something or giving us your thoughts. Certainly rules are only guidelines to help us understand the final outcome of our photo. In some instances rules of proper exposure and composition etc can be thrown out. If it is the shot you perceived then isn't that valid?

    Personally the only rule of photography is that you put everything you have into each frame.

    Love & Bass
     
  6. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Personally my first step was to shoot impulsively, trying to capture images which I felt conveyed a certain emotion or mood, or simply which I found (and I know it's not going to be a popular word) 'interesting'. I don't think it did me any harm.

    Because I love analogies, here we go: You can send someone on a course and teach them how to write a book well, but it doesn't mean they can write a good book (i.e. one that people will want to read).
    Another one: It's not always the people who can readily understand the 'rules' of a foreign language who can speak it convincingly and comfortably.

    Conventions (rules if you must call them that) are certainly helpful, but personally I would rather start with ideas, and rein them in with convention to better express them, than start with conventions and try to find ideas to work around them. I am not by any means suggesting that people shouldn't learn the "rules" of composition, or that they shouldn't do so when starting out, but I don't think learning them should be the first or most important step either.
     
  7. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    actually everyone here should listen to my advice. no salt shaker for me . . .


    jk
     
  8. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    If you dont have a salt shaker I'll happily lend you my jumbo shaker. It doesn't say salt on the side it says simply BS eliminator on one side and quick fix killer on the other.

    In the world of instant everything it's not popular to say it's just gonna take time to figure out composition. It's like the difference between a 16 year old driver and Mario Andrette (sp).

    Now here is a mixed metaphor... You can follow the rules of the road and still not hit a home run... god I love to do that where is Yogi Berra when you need him.
     
  9. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    For all the discussion, I have not seen here, an example of a photo in which not following the rules of composition has contributed to an overall high level of visual impact and effectiveness.

    skieur
     
  10. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

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    I'm looking forward to seeing how this is applied in the Critique Forums... :wink:
     
  11. PNA

    PNA TPF Noob!

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    Good point....!

    And where is Yogi when you need him???? One of the best bad ball hitters of all time. Rules?????
     
  12. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Still waiting to see a convincing example of a photo that has great impact because it does not follow many of the rules of composition. :)

    skieur
     

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