old man's confusion


TPF Noob!
Feb 1, 2006
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in the middle of north carolina
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Let me say up front, I expect that I am just hopelessly out of touch. Now let me go on to say, I hope it isn't the case.

Since cave paintings some basic understanding, if not rules, of composition has emerged. Yes all rules are to be broken, but for a reason I hope. If you throw out the frame work there is nothing left.

I truly believe that framework (composition techniques) is not arbitrary but based in what is pleasing to the eye. Somethings just look awkward to me and I cant for the life of me see why they are done that way. I am told it is the genre. Maybe so and I am out of touch, but it seems the genre would want to have the pictures be pleasing to the eye of every viewer. There are overwhelming reasons that a compositon rule is broken, but I think that you can easily see why it was done in a good picture and you forgive it. Okay color me lost in the new age.

It's a simple question really, if a thing looks wrong, is it still wrong, or are we now in a place in photography that nothing is wrong any more its all just a matter of personal taste. If so then all I can say is

Awesome dude....

Also let me say yes, I know that I am an arrogant P****
From a still older, even more confused man - -

On composition: I work from a tripod most of the time. I spend time tweaking the image in the viewfinder. Then I spend more time adjusting the printed image to the easel and sometimes even more to adjusting the final matting [Yes, I mat my prints. Wanna make something of it, Buddy?]

My goal? A print which says something beside "Ain't that pretty!" when viewed by a non-photographer. Please note the 'non.' I find questions such as "what film [or camera, or lens, or paper] did you use?" boring and ultimately of no consequence. When I get a consistent response to a print, I consider that I have achieved a personal goal.
That sounds like a reasonable approach... I have to confess that I gross compose in the viewfind. Having about 5 percent extra laying about to use for a crop. I use the computer now but mostly because I cant really work in a darkroom.

Composition is everything to me. Yes light dark tones ect are important but you have to begin with what it is. You cant take chicken crap in a darkroom, wave a wand and make it chicken salad... double that for a computer.

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