The start of the creativeprocess Composition is the placement of elements within the restriction of the frame of the photograph.
Two Main Parts Two Main Parts Part One: Subject The main focus of the photograph Can be a person, place or thing The message of the photograph Part Two: Treatment How the subject is treated within the frame Technical representation including contrast, lighting, colors and design elements like texture or shape
Not in the Center, Please Vertical “Dead” Line Hot Spot Hot Spot Horizontal “Dead” Line Hot Spot Hot Spot
Rule of thirds Rule of thirds Placing the subject in a 1/3 of the frame creates visual interest. Asymmetry draws the viewer to the photograph. The photographer’s main objective is to keep the viewer looking at the photograph as long as possible.
Horizon Horizon The horizon should not cut the photograph directly in half. It should be in one of 1/3’s. The horizon should be parallel with the bottom of the frame. The horizon can create a line of interest that keeps the viewers eye moving across the picture.
Leading Lines Photo Credit: National Geographic
Balance Object and subject do not have to be the same size to achieve balance. The goal in creating balance is to have the viewer’s eye travel from subject to object and back. Remember: The aim of any photograph is to keep the viewer looking as long as possible.
Perspective Try photographing the subject from different angles: high, low, etc. Take risks. Use a monopod to achieve high angles. Photographing a subject head-on is expected and boring to the viewer.
Pattern & Texture Pattern consists of small shapes, lines and/or tonal areas that are repeated. Texture consists of a collection of objects or a small pattern that gives the viewer a sense of what it would feel like to the touch.
Light Light can create mood and provide contrast. Consider where the main light source is when taking a picture and use it to the photograph’s advantage. Golden Hours 1 hour before sunset or sunrise, when the sun casts a golden hue. Ideal for pictures and portraits.
People Try to capture natural expressions. Focus in on the eyes. Aim for the flecks of light in the eyes. Try to stay away from creating “bleeding limbs”. When people’s limbs are cut off by the edge of the photograph, especially at joints i.e. elbows, wrists, knees, etc.
Additional Tips The key to all of this is to keep an eye on what is going on in the frame of your photo and take steps to change anything that does not add to the message or impact of the photo. LESS IS MORE concept of getting in close and checking the frame for a photo that tells a story or sets a mood. People pictures are popular subjects. Look at the camera angles or vantage point to find one that gives a simple background with colors and objects that do not compete with the subject. Good expression is key to people shots -- look for how the mood is expressed -- be alert and have camera ready. • Look out for Mergers. •Can you see what’s wrong with this picture?