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  1. 1. Composition
  2. 2. A photograph captures a moment in time which can never be repeated.
  3. 3. The way you capture the moment is the way it will be seen, enjoyed, and interpreted.
  4. 4. How will your photograph truly capture what is before you?
  5. 5. Remember the old phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” What do you want to say?
  6. 6. Think about the photograph’s potential. Consider the possibilities.
  7. 7. Creating Choices There is an infinite number of artistic choices you can make. Never stop with just ONE idea!
  8. 8. Composition Theme • What is the universal message of the photograph? • What does it imply or say? • What makes the photograph worth taking? • Theme creates the BIG IDEA behind a mere image.
  9. 9. Larry Fink Pat Sabatine’s Eighth Birthday Party
  10. 10. Herbert List Goldfish Glass
  11. 11. Composition Emphasis • What is the subject? • Where is the subject? • Where should the viewer look? • What is most important • How do you emphasize one part of a photograph and downplay another?
  12. 12. Gordon Parks Red Jackson in the Harlem Gang Story
  13. 13. Joel Sternfeld, McLean, Virginia
  14. 14. Composition Simplicity • Simplify the composition • Nothing weakens the theme • Nothing in the view-finder competes with or distracts from the subject, but adds to the composition
  15. 15. How Much? • What is really important? • How much is needed to support your theme? • Are you capturing too much? Does it take away from your emphasis? • Are you capturing too little? What else in the viewfinder supports your theme? Your emphasis? • Suggestion: Start in close and step back to include as much as needed
  16. 16. Horizontal or Vertical? • Which way will BEST include what is essential to the photograph? • Which way will support your emphasis? • Which way will take away from what is important? • Try BOTH!
  17. 17. Cropping • Creating visual boundaries • What information is needed to get the point across? • Simplify Ian Stravinsky
  18. 18. • Generally, try NOT to crop at joints • Instead, crop between them.
  19. 19. Point of View • How does your point of view emphasize the theme or subject matter? • The photographer can allow the viewer to see from someone or something else’s point of view (like a bird, a bug, water rushing down a drain pipe, etc.)
  20. 20. Bernice Abbott, El at Columbus Avenue and Broadway
  21. 21. Contrast The focal point may stand out from the background because of a distinctive contrast.
  22. 22. Value Color
  23. 23. Selective Focus (Depth of Field) • In order to include the background, while isolating the subject matter as the main focal point, use a short depth of field (small aperture number = large hole) • Sharpen the subject matter and blur the rest
  24. 24. Pentti Sammallahti Sando, Dragsfjard
  25. 25. Michael Wells, Hands
  26. 26. The Rule of Thirds • A simplified version of the Golden Mean • Linear objects on lines • Focal points at intersections
  27. 27. Implied Lines • Not an actual line, but rather, an implied one • Uses objects in composition to form lines Vertical Horizontal Diagonal
  28. 28. Leading Lines • A successful leading line will lead the viewer right to the center of focus • An unsuccessful leading line will lead the viewer in, but will lead him/her right back out again
  29. 29. Implied Forms Circle Cross
  30. 30. Angles and Diagonals • Create a more dynamic photograph • Use extreme angles and diagonals, rather than straight, static lines.
  31. 31. Framing You may find, sometimes, that the subject matter looks boring when isolated in viewfinder. Consider including things around the subject matter which would form an interesting frame.
  32. 32. • Formal Balance • Static type of balance, where both sides are perfectly equal • Generally, try to avoid, for it is uninteresting to viewer • Informal Balance • Dynamic type of balance, where objects on each side are not equal • A large object on one side could balance a small one, dark object could balance a light one, etc.
  33. 33. Texture • We often neglect to get close enough to see texture • Texture can add great richness to a photograph
  34. 34. Aliens • Elements of a photograph that invade your subject matter • Seem as if they were attached • The famous pole sticking out of someone’s head