Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by abraxas, Feb 3, 2009.
Composition- How important is it in your photography?
well, it should be extremely important I would think. I mean, what is there above composition?
Technique and Composition are photography. These two factors determine the quality and effectiveness of any photo and are the two areas of critique in the professional judging of any photo in competition and even for inclusion in galleries or magazines.
Composition is everything.
A great subject with poor composition does not make a good photo.
Great composition of a poor subject ... can.
Of course it is important, but that is the obvious answer. Let's dig deep here. I see a lot of poor composition or should I say lack of creativity in model shoots and landscape photography. A lot of photographers simply blast a model with light and call it good. A lot of landscapes are shot at the magic hour with beautiful mountain scenery. Both scenarios provide good results. Add strong technical knowledge into the equation and you have a winner. I try and find something that I feel has my signature on it. Maybe a low angle. Maybe sculpting the light as opposed to blasting it. Good composition for me is when someone says "oh yeah Craig shot that".
Love & Bass
A picture [please note 'picture', not 'photograph'], in order to be memorable, should 'say' something. As an example, a fine portrait should enable someone who doesn't know the subject to learn something about him/her. It 'says' something about the person. The stunning photograph of the judge in Steichen's 'The Family of Man' comes to mind.
Be it a landscape saying 'Here is nature in the raw', a portrait saying 'She has a great sense of humor', a flower saying 'Isn't this beautiful?' or an abstract print remarking on the interrelationship of its elements, the composition is important to the extent that it presents the 'message' in a focussed [pun intended] and forceful manner.
In short, composition is a means to an end.
Considering how important people believe composition is to good photography it seems strange that so few people who take pictures study it or even understand it. The Rule of Thirds is about as far as they go - and even then most don't appear to understand that or when it is appropriate to use it.
Technically, every image/picture/photo has a composition. The word has many definitions, here is a good one: the organization or grouping of the different parts of a work of art so as to achieve a unified whole.
So if every image has 'a composition'...how do we analyze it?
Is it effective? Does it help the image to relay the message that the artist intended (if any)?
How does the composition affect the way the image is viewed? Does it lead the viewer's eye? Does it hold the viewer's gaze?
Composition is one of those subjects that can be studied to death. Studies have been made to determine what compositional aspects humans find most attractive or pleasing. That being said, someone with no education or experience can create something with a technically great composition...whether by luck or just because they 'have a good eye'.
And of course, art is very subjective. When some people love, others will hate.
Composition is #2 on my list. I like to make sure I am properly focused on the RIGHT subject before considering any compositional aspects... lol
You can be as compositionally perfect as you want, but if your camera is focusing on a branch in front of your landscape scene that you are trying to capture and therefore the scene is all blurry... no amount of compositional genius is going to help you!
That aside, yeah, composition to me *is* important. This is what shall make the difference for most between a photograph... and a snap-shot. As Mike paraphrased, "An arrangement of the parts of a work, so as to form a unified harmonious whole" (taken from the PhotoshopCafe course on composition) really works best for me too.
pfft the same sorts that don't study composition generally don't study exposure or other areas either - least that is my observation. Those that study do tend to focus in one area, either compostion or exposure/technical and of the two I would say that many people choose the technical side over the compositional side.
I think this is partly because composition requires one to already have technical understandings since composition is not only having the framing of the shot right, but also getting the exposure and technical side so that the shot captures what you want it to show.
If you don't know or understand how to expose the shot right then the composition can't work as well as it should can it?
don't forget that trial and error factors into this a lot - especailly as many people these days are home learners and not going through structured courses - and that many here are amateurs and thus there is not the pressure to perform at a certain level as there is for a pro (a pro has to work to the level of their clients whilst an amateur only has to please themself - and the grouchy photoforum people as well of course )
Composition and exposure - two halfs of the whole that is photography.
This was just posted as a joke right?
...didn't someone ask the exact same question about a year ago?
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