Still learning composition


TPF Noob!
May 7, 2011
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One year into photography and I still have trouble deciding between various compositions of the same subject. Would anyone care to pitch in their 2 cents on which of the following is their favorite and why?




#1 is probably my favorite but I get worried about the position of the sun. Do you think a slight crop from the left would do the picture justice? It would require cutting out that small tree.

#2 is pretty great but there is a lot of sky taking valuable room from the interesting mountain layers. The added vertical length doesn't really convey how tall the trees were which makes me think sticking with number 1 maybe the safest bet.

#3 is a pano of the scene and a separate picture than number 1. It works well, but the position of the sun might be bothersome... I just don't know.
Technically speaking I don't know much at all about photography. I do like all the shots, but the first one is my favourite. :)
Id have to sya the last one - the important thing to remember with composition is balance. If you have a strong area of focus on the right you must balance it with one on the left. Also look up the rule of thirds on the internet - this is lesson one in photography composition. Nice shots.....
#1 works best for me.

Suffice to say that guidelines like the ROT are not precise and immutable.

The snow field left-center is in the middle 1/3 of the photo vertically, and it extends 2/3 of the way across the middle horizontally.

The lower 1/3 of the photo is divided into 3 nice segments, the 1/3 on the left mostly dark trees, the middle third half light/half dark, the right 1/3 mostly snow. The diagonal line of the foreground snow, like all diagonal lines, evokes a sense of movement and leads to foot/paw/hoof prints in the snow which also signifies movement.

In the upper third the sky occupies a bit less than a 1/3 of the frame, but the bright elements in the sky add visual weight to offset that. The Sun is not right on the left upper ROT power point but it's near enough to it to work.

The lower right corner is light and balances with the upper left corner that is darker. The lower left corner and the upper right corner are each about 1/2 light and half dark, so they also balance.

You might consider taking a bit more off the bottom of the photo.

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