Improvement of composition?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Baaaark, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    Any good websites on photography composition?

    What I'm looking for is a site that will maybe help me out with looking at things "outside the box."
     
  2. Sachphotography

    Sachphotography TPF Noob!

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  3. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    First you need to learn the box, before you can step out of it.
     
  4. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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  5. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    The box I was referring to was the typical snapshot. I want to know (like we all do), how to take a shot from looking normal, to looking interesting.

    To me, this requires out of the box thinking, as most people do not bother nor care how about achieving this look.

    Thank you so much for the links, though. These will be great, I'm sure!
     
  6. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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  7. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    Some basics for composition--

    Avoid centering stuff dead in the middle of the frame. Really, this is the most important thing to remember. There are exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking you just don't want to drop your subject dead in the middle.

    Hand in hand with this is a second idea, that you should only put in the frame that which you are photographing. This seems like kind of an obvious one, but it runs deeper than you may think. How many snapshots have you seen where the subject is just a small part of the whole picture, and the rest of the frame is just the boring random stuff that happened to surround the subject? There are lots of ways to avoid this, but the most straightforward is to just get closer to your subjects than you would have done. Now, this is different if you're trying to show place/context/whatever, but not filling the frame with their subject is a very simple beginner composition error.

    Another idea connected to these is that you generally want to have your action leading into space-- as in, a car on the left of the image should be driving towards the right, a person on the right should be looking left, etc. This draws the viewer into the image and holds them rather than leading their eye out of the frame.

    One more thing to think about is checking for background elements that will distract from the final image. We see in 3-D, which means that it's easy for us to ignore a pole or plant behind someone. But when it is compressed into 2-D, background stuff can merge with people and look very bizarre. Keep an eye out for where this stuff is and how it is affecting the image.
     
  8. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    :thumbup: Amen to that.

    What I would look for are books on the basics of design. Design rules apply to all forms of art. Some are medium specific but they can be good to know even if you don't work in this specific medium. You might be surprised.

    Plus I think it makes it a bit easier to learn. By stepping away from photography for a while, you concentrate on the design thing.

    Even the book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards is excellent for photographer and should be available in most decent library. If not, I'm sure it can be had used at a very good price.

    I mention books because I prefer reading on paper rather than on a monitor but to each is own.

    Learn to Draw: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.
     
  9. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The box isn't the snapshot stage. The box is being able to apply basic composition skills effectively. Stepping out of the box is going beyond what "most" people are capable of (basic design rules). Thats what sets the "awesome" photographer apart from the rest of us.
     

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