A place to think about composition in photography

Archive for March, 2012

Friends

I’m exploring different ways of looking at people.

Two friends walking together

Friends

I like the contrast of the sharp graphic lines with the softer edges of the figures.


Breaking the rules: Just use the edge of a photograph

For successful pictures, conventional wisdom on composition dictates that you need:

  • Foreground, to contain detail
  • Middle ground, to convey depth
  • Background, to add context

Then you need:

  • Lead-in lines to further create depth and guide the eye through the picture
  • Colour contrast for interest, if a green landscape, add something red.
  • Use the golden section to set the dimensions of the image and place points of interest within it for beauty.

Hmmm..  this is all very nice and will produce pleasing images. However:

  • Everyone learns these rules in the same way, from textbooks, magazines and how-to sites
  • or..
  • We absorb these rules by looking at images that surround us, particularly those that win competitions

So many pictures, and yet isn’t it surprising that so few are memorable?

So much for the words, how about putting into action, I hear you say..

Well, how about this picture:

The photographer and the lamp post IMG_0029b

Using only the edges of a picture IMG_0029b

This follows few, if any of those rules,  It shouldn’t work, but it does.

On another level, I wonder how the photograph he is taking of her came out?

Learn the conventional wisdom or rules, such as they are.  Then you are in an informed position to try something new.

If it works for you, tell me about it, I’d be fascinated to see what you create.