Composition is: A musical score Something you write for English class Organic substance used in farming Arrangement of visual elements
The modern camera is capable of many things auto focus auto exposure –select a suitable shutter speed or aperture multitude of other functions
One thing no camera can do Compose the image – It has no idea what it is pointing at – it has no idea what you are trying to achieve
Good images result from: Careful attention to some basic elements of composition Appropriate lighting Interesting subject
No "right" way to take a picture Three photographers recording same scene may create equally appealing photographs with entirely different composition "There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.“ - Ansel Adams
Important question to ask "What message do I want to deliver?" – it comes down to your ability to 'see' a picture or potential to create a picture load of 'rules' and techniques – guidelines, not hard and fast "rules"
Novice can achieve good image capture with these guidelines Experienced photographers who know the rules often find very creative ways to break them, with excellent results
Pre-Visualize First, “see” your options—the potential photograph before you “Visualize” how the scene will look as a print or on a monitor screen Look through the viewfinder to create a frame of reference—like the print’s edge Eliminate distracting backgrounds before you release the shutter
Viewpoint Can change a picture dramatically –moving the camera up or down or –stepping to one side –find an "unusual" point of view
3 basic ways to adjust viewpoint Physically move objects relative to each other –Only really works with still life photography Tell people to move relative to each other or other objects –Only works with people who can hear you
3 basic ways to adjust viewpoint Move –Usually the most effective way to control composition – easiest and yet most important wander about and see if you can improve on your original composition by changing your viewpoint much difference can had by walking a few feet
Viewpoint Study the scene from various angles or perspectives: – High – Low – Straight on – Above Which of these perspectives best helps the viewer understand your intentions?
Move a bit closer look round the edge of the frame and behind your subject eliminate acres of space full of nothing interesting check for intruding “stuff”
Simplicity Only the things you want the viewer to see appear in the picture numerous objects cluttering up the background - message lost can’t find an angle or framing to isolate subject –consider using depth of field control to keep the background out of focus
Uncomplicated background Be especially aware of what is behind your subject –Forced Visual Relationships –does not compete with your subject –viewfinder to create a frame of reference—like the print’s edge –eliminate distracting backgrounds before you release the shutter
Balance Asymmetric or informal balance – considered more pleasing than symmetric (formal) balance placing the main subject off-center –balancing "weight" with other objects smaller or lower impact –more dynamic and interesting composition