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Photo

Composition

technique composition

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39 replies to this topic

#21
PrettyCranium

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Composition is something I constantly have to work on, so I appreciate all the advice and links here.

One of the best photography books I own is Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Composition Field Guide." It is clearly and concisely written with wonderful photos to illustrate his points (shows the good and the bad). I'm reading it for the second time and plan to read it a third. With lots of practice on the points he makes, of course.

I've also learned a lot from watching Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski (sp?) doing blind critiques on "The Grid" (free online on Kelbytv.com).

 

Thanks for the book recommendation, I seem to always prefer a physical book to look at.



#22
Tony892

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Thanks for all the helpful information, my mind is going into overdrive with the amount of valuable lessons I have learnt from this ando other forum threads. I use an ipad and have a kindle programme and in response to PrettyCranium's last post, I used to always prefer books, but have found using the kindle to be just as good and it has the added advantage of books being less expensive and not taking up space. By using the ipad I get to view the colour prints.



#23
rocknrumble

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Yeah I do something similar. I use my tablet, I download my books and user manuals to it. That way I can take it with me everywhere I go and I have my library with me!



#24
BonOlgirl

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Trying to train the eye to look for the best composition when taking a shot, but when that fails, I CHEAT B) with some post-processing and use the cropping tool. Don't always end up with standard sizes, but most of my photos go to the web anyway.  ;)



#25
TBonz

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I rarely "release" an image to viewing without some sort of cropping.  The nature of shooting sports means that there is really no opportunity to compose the photo.  You can generally anticipate where things are going and attempt to choose a good location, but that doesn't mean the players will cooperate with your plan!  When I crop, I typically crop to standard sizes even if I would prefer a different cropping because of online sales of the photos from multiple different web sites.  It makes it easier for everyone and helps the sales.  I do crop some of my favorite images to my liking.

 

Croping is really where a fair amount of my composition is done.  Excluding the pieces of the image that I don't want in the final photo and framing the subject to highlight what I'm looking for in the photo as best I can.  I don't process out parts of the image and in general, the shot is fine that way...I do hate it when the goalie has to make a save and ends up with the net pole coming out of their head, but you would be surprised how few people actually notice that if it is a great shot of the save.... :D



#26
K-9

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I rarely "release" an image to viewing without some sort of cropping.  The nature of shooting sports means that there is really no opportunity to compose the photo.  You can generally anticipate where things are going and attempt to choose a good location, but that doesn't mean the players will cooperate with your plan!  When I crop, I typically crop to standard sizes even if I would prefer a different cropping because of online sales of the photos from multiple different web sites.  It makes it easier for everyone and helps the sales.  I do crop some of my favorite images to my liking.

 

Croping is really where a fair amount of my composition is done.  Excluding the pieces of the image that I don't want in the final photo and framing the subject to highlight what I'm looking for in the photo as best I can.  I don't process out parts of the image and in general, the shot is fine that way...I do hate it when the goalie has to make a save and ends up with the net pole coming out of their head, but you would be surprised how few people actually notice that if it is a great shot of the save.... :D

 

What size do you normally stick to?



#27
rocknrumble

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I haven't started cropping yet. The post editing of my photos at the moment is very limited. I'm focussing on improving my shot skills and slowly working to understand post editing as I go along. I'll have to pay more attention to cropping by the sounds of it.

#28
iNYONi

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ive only just started to use the "rule of thirds" tool in cs6. However saying that, i try to get the composition right at time of taking the shot. Mainly using crop to tidy the shots where i didn't quite get it right.



#29
Stas

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I'm trying don't use crop tool and build a composition in time of shooting. But often I have to use it) This mean that I need to better build a composition) 



#30
TBonz

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K9 - I used to crop to 8x10, but since I get a large # of people wanting 4x6 which is equivalent to the 8x12, I've started cropping to that which is effectively a full frame scale.  Should they want another size, it becomes easier to deal with.



#31
Merco_61

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I mostly compose for a 4x5 crop. This could be because of using view cameras and 6x7 medium format so much in the film days... Portraits are most often cropped 5x7, since the customers seem to like and buy that.

 

When composing pictures, I think about the rules but I am not afraid to break them. A whole album, or even worse an exhibition of only rule of thirds pictures are as boring as centered subjects. An unorthodox  composition can serve to make the viewer stop and think instead of just glancing through the pictures.



#32
iNYONi

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Found this little vid on YouTube....quite good.



#33
rocknrumble

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I'll have to check that one out.



#34
Tony892

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Found this little vid on YouTube....quite good.


Well done just started watching it and have saved it in my YouTube list.

#35
Photodonn

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The "KISS" method works for me! Know your subject, highlight it & lose what doesn't compliment it! The viewer should have no doubt as what they are seeing in in your image!

#36
aguilarg93

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Great link!  I really need to improve my composition skills



#37
Timbali

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The rule of thirds is always the best place to begin. After you've become accustomed to using it while you shoot, THEN you can start to break the rule. Sometimes, it IS more interesting to place your subject dead center, or far left, or far right, etc. As long as the other elements in the frame lead the eye to your point of interest, the shot should work. If you have the time while shooting, re-compose the shot 4 or 5 times (or more), placing the subject in various areas of the frame. Shooting digital is great for this, since you're not wasting film by doing it. Of course, film purists might argue that you should compose for the best shot first. "Learn the rules, then break them" is what I say!



#38
TBonz

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In photojournalism, I would suggest that the first rule is get the shot.  That means capturing "the moment" or whatever is critical for the assignment with an image that is usable for publication.  Effectively, get a correctly exposed image (or one that is correctable in those areas), in focus that captures the subject of the assignment.  After that, worry about the other rules like the rule of thirds, filling the frame appropriately for the assignment and then trying some other perspectives that might provide a better image.  Sometimes you don't get past the first rule!  Hopefully you can deal with the other rules in post processing. 



#39
Chrisf

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Being a photographer that primarily shoots birds I usually have 2 approaches. With tracking  system used for dynamic autofocus the subject can end up in various parts of the frame due to that. In that scenario, I leave more room in the direction they are going and more on top. Unless of course they are going for a dive. For static birds I leave more i n the direction in which they are looking and more on the top than on the bottom. These also usually require cropping unless I'm lucky enough to get close enough to fill the frame.



#40
Photodonn

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Good point Sportz2Pix! Depending on the nature of the assignment it's about telling a story visually. Good composition is important as is relaying the emotion of the event. Often times there is not time to worry about the background, just get the shot & crop later.





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