What does "Composition" mean when people are using it in photography lingo.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by TheUndisputed, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. TheUndisputed

    TheUndisputed TPF Noob!

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    The attached image below is an image I uploaded to an art/photography website and everyone that sent me a comment on it said "Nice composition" and "composition is great."

    What exactly do they mean by that?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Mgw189

    Mgw189 TPF Noob!

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    Composition is the way you displayed your subject basically. Where you place the subject in the frame of the picture.
     
  3. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    not everything needs to be asked in a forum...

    com⋅po⋅si⋅tion [kom-puh-zish-uh[​IMG]n]
    –noun
    1. the act of combining parts or elements to form a whole.
     
  4. TheUndisputed

    TheUndisputed TPF Noob!

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    I understand what the standard definition of Composition is. However, the same principles do not come into play when it comes to photography. Of course, because I didn't combine anything to form a whole. I saw something, held a camera up, and took a picture of it. There was no combining anything to create that photograph.

    So, I knew the definition of photo composition goes much deeper than then combining of parts to make a whole. Thanks Mgw for the reply!
     
  5. DavidElliot

    DavidElliot TPF Noob!

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    point goes to undisputed. i don't understand why people feel a need to bash on people who earnestly come here for help. just answer their question and realize that they're posting it for a reason. sure we could google it, but then why even belong to a forum in the first place? sometimes, it's just better to pitch questions to people who have had first hand experience

    to answer your question, i would venture to say that composition is how the photographer chooses to arrange elements of a scene into a photo. he or she can choose to use a variety of tools to achieve a certain composition. for example, the usage of pattern, lines, symmetry, texture or DOF.

    that's probably just a shallow answer. i've only been involved in photography for a little over a year.
     
  6. rdzmzda

    rdzmzda TPF Noob!

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    man that picture has great composition :D haha anyways.... check out this book will explain its a really good book just for this subject
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Photographers-Eye-Composition-Design-Digital/dp/0240809343/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232809310&sr=8-1]Amazon.com: The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos: Michael Freeman: Books[/ame]
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Whether you were thinking about it or not, whether it was intentional or random, you did arrange the elements of the scene somewhat. Possibly you didn't make the hill, plant the tree, or hang the swing, but the camera provides a frame, and you adjusted the frame so that the tree trunk was to the left and the tire swing in the middle. You could have adjusted it so the tree trunk was in the middle and the swing to the right. You could have lowered the tree in the photo. You could have gotten closer to the tree, or shot it from an angle where the tire swing didn't show. There are many different possibilities how to arrange the hill, the tree, and the swing.
     
  8. Kondro86

    Kondro86 TPF Noob!

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    Ding Ding Ding.... I agree withe ksmattfish
     
  9. TheUndisputed

    TheUndisputed TPF Noob!

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    Ah, I see where you are coming from. My reply to him had the nature it did because of his nature in reply to me. If I wanted a smarta** answer from someone I wouldn't have asked the question. I am brand new to photography (well, sort of), and the lingo is new to me.

    Thank you for explaining.
     
  10. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've found it helpful to think of what a photographer does in contrast to what a painter does.

    Both try to create a pleasing picture. Pleasing, in this instance, isn't meant to signify 'pretty', but rather pleasing in terms of the 'rightness' of the image with regard to the subject and what the photographer/painter is trying to 'say'. [And, by the way, there's nothing at all wrong with trying to say, 'Isn't this pretty?']

    The difference in what they do is this: the painter starts with a blank canvas and then adds pigment to it, bit by bit, until he/she has added just enough. The photographer starts with the visible universe and subtracts from it until what remains is -- just enough.
     
  11. bevin

    bevin TPF Noob!

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    Nucely put Torus :)
     
  12. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    sorry if i offended you by telling you what composition is, but photography lingo or not, that is what composition means... its not a lingo term.. composition in photography is the acting of combining objects to make a whole... whether you move things or not, you still set up the picture (as people have described in here already)

    i wasnt aiming to give you a smart ass answer.. i was giving you an answer jackass... i'm now adding you to my block list... if you cant accept help when its given, i want nothing to do with you.
     

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