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Question: Composition?


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#1 Leica

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 06:09 PM

I have a question for all of you... what does it mean if somebody says, great composition? OR you need to improve on how you compose your photographs?

#2 Morethanwords

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 06:43 PM

Well, it's more of the content of the photograph. When I say composition, I usually try to gauge:

1. The subject. How well was the photographer able to focus on the subject.
2. Use of the space. Are there white spaces? Did the photographer capture only what is needed, and nothing more... or are there a lot of other elements going on in the picture?
3. Placement. How did the photographer place the subject in the photograph?

#3 ReneeMiller

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 07:52 PM

Thanks for that. For my part, I stick by the rule of thirds. So composition for me would try to look at how this was followed and how the photographer placed the elements in the photograph.

#4 ElectricFan

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 07:54 PM

Well, it's more of the content of the photograph. When I say composition, I usually try to gauge:

1. The subject. How well was the photographer able to focus on the subject.
2. Use of the space. Are there white spaces? Did the photographer capture only what is needed, and nothing more... or are there a lot of other elements going on in the picture?
3. Placement. How did the photographer place the subject in the photograph?



Hmmmmn... Your number 2 would mean that one would have to shoot just close ups right? But we've all seen photographs with really great backgrounds.

#5 SouthofNowhere

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 08:18 PM

Of course a background would be great. But remember, a background should only provide a backdrop, a reference point or depth to the photograph... it should not compete with your subject.

#6 mimime

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 09:15 PM

A friend told me that a good background complements the subject, not contradict it. So it should not distract the viewer from the original message of the photo.

#7 EminentGrade

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 08:53 AM

For my part, composition relates to what elements are included in the photograph and how they are placed, how they relate to one another and what their roles are. You may have a wide background on a very small subject, but the white space might help give the viewer an idea of just how big a certain subject is, or how deep it is, or how far off it is from you...

#8 mimime

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 10:01 PM

I say that a picture has great composition if all the elements make sense. You can't have too much of a background with the subject being lost in all of it. In the same breath, I don't think a close up would be effective without an appropriate reference in the background. For instance, if you want to show how BIG a certain subject is, include something in the photograph that would give people a point of reference as to how big it is.

#9 EasternSierra

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 04:04 AM

In my opinion, composition is all about making all of the elements work. Not all pictures have a distinct subject and background. Think of wide landscapes with long depth of field. Sure, there are different elements of foreground, middle ground and background, but none of them are relaly "The Subject" as much as they all are elements of the landscape. Each one is just as important as the other, and each works together to draw the user in.

Every shot style is going to have different techniques for composing the shots. Each technique has it's own set of "rules" to follow, such as the "Rule of Thirds" or the "Fibonacci Spiral". None of these rules are written in stone, and it is just as important to learn how and when NOT to follow them as it is to know what they are and why they work.

Just my $.02...

#10 Adam Janz

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 08:58 AM

Great images regardless of genre have a narrative.To me the composition is about the narrative. For example a landscape will evoke a sense of the place.

#11 Craig Sillitoe

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 07:51 AM

Great images regardless of genre have a narrative.To me the composition is about the narrative. For example a landscape will evoke a sense of the place.


Agree with this, all the elements support and add to the central theme.




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