Composition concerns the placement or
arrangement of the elements in an image
The artist determines what the center
of interest of the art work will be, and
composes the elements accordingly
What are the points of interest in this shot?
Where am I intentionally placing them?
The gaze of the viewer will tend to linger over these points of interest. The elements
are arranged with consideration of several factors into a harmonious whole which
works together to produce the desired statement
WHEN TO USE HORIZONTAL
When the subject is horizontal
When your subject is wider than tall
To allow the subject to “move” horizontally
To convey a sense of space
WHEN TO USE VERTICAL
When the subject is vertical
When your subject is taller than it is wide
To allow the subject to “move” vertically
To focus attention
FILLING THE FRAME
A subject can be rendered more dramatic when it ﬁlls the frame.
There exists a tendency to perceive things as larger than they actually
are, and ﬁlling the frame fulﬁlls this psychological mechanism. This
can be used to eliminate distractions from the background.
Vantage point refers to the angle,
place or point from which
something can be viewed
The position of the viewer can strongly inﬂuence
the aesthetics of an image, even if the subject is
entirely imaginary and viewed "within the mind's
eye". Not only does it inﬂuence the elements
within the picture, but it also inﬂuences the
viewer's interpretation of the subject.
Most pictures are shot from the same vantage point
Between ﬁve and six feet above the ground. This is
the average height of the human body
The rule of thirds is thought to be a simpliﬁcation of the golden
mean, a ratio that has been used by visual artists for centuries as
an aid to composition. The guideline proposes that an image
should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two
equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical
lines, and that important compositional elements should be
placed along these lines or their intersections.
Filling your frame with a repetitive pattern can give the
impression of size and large numbers. The key to this is to
attempt to zoom in close enough to the pattern that it ﬁlls the
frame and makes the repetition seem as though it’s bursting
Breaking the Pattern
The other common use of repetition in photography is
to capture the interruption of the ﬂow of a pattern
Pay particular attention to where in your frame to place
the break in the pattern. Also consider your focal point
in these shots – the broken pattern might be a logical
spot to have everything focussed sharply.
Diagonal lines generally work well to draw the eye of an image’s
viewer through the photograph. They create points of interest as
they intersect with other lines and often give images depth by
They can also add a sense of action to an image
and add a dynamic looks and feel.
Horizons are the most common horizontal line to be found in
photographs and they often act as a dividing point in a photograph
Vertical lines have the ability to convey a variety of different moods
in a photograph ranging from power and strength to growth
multiple lines that converge together (or come close to one another)
can be a great technique to lead your viewers eye into a shot.
Mentorship is a personal developmental
relationship in which a more experienced
or more knowledgeable person helps to
guide a less experienced or less
Nature, Landscape, People, Pets, Documentary, Sports, Fashion, etc.
Black & White
Composition, Color, Light, etc.
Andreas Gursky is a German visual artist known for his large
format architecture and landscape colour photographs, often
employing a high point of view. Rhein II, an image by Gursky,
fetched $4.3m at Christie's, New York on November 8, 2011,
becoming the most expensive photograph ever sold
Gursky’s work is characterized by the tension between the clarity and
formal nature of his photographs and the ambiguous intent and
meaning they present, occasioned by their insertion into a ‘high-art’
environment. Through all his work runs a sense of impersonality, a
depiction of the structures and patterns of collective existence, often
represented by the unitary behaviour of large crowds. His images of the
stock exchanges of North America and East Asia are exemplary in the
way that he uses crowds to create a type of picture comparable in
formal terms to the ‘all-over’ compositions of the Abstract Expressionist
Before the 1990s, Gursky did not digitally manipulate his images. In
the years since, Gursky has been frank about his reliance on computers
to edit and enhance his pictures, creating an art of spaces larger than
the subjects photographed
Hiroshi Sugimoto is a Japanese photographer currently
dividing his time between Tokyo, Japan and New York City,
United States. His catalogue is made up of a number of series,
each having a distinct theme and similar attributes.
Sugimoto has spoken of his work as an expression of ‘time exposed’,
or photographs serving as a time capsule for a series of events in
time. His work also focuses on transience of life, and the conﬂict
between life and death.
Sugimoto is also deeply inﬂuenced by the writings and works of
Marcel Duchamp, as well as the Dadaist and Surrealist movements as
a whole. He has also expressed a great deal of interest in late 20th
century modern architecture.
His use of an 8×10 large-format camera and extremely long exposures
have garnered Sugimoto a reputation as a photographer of the highest
technical ability. He is equally acclaimed for the conceptual and
philosophical aspects of his work.
In 1978, Sugimoto's Theatres series involved photographing old
American movie palaces and drive-ins with a folding 4x5
camera and tripod, opening his camera shutter and exposing
the ﬁlm for the duration of the entire feature-length movie, the
ﬁlm projector providing the sole lighting. The luminescent
screen in the centre of the composition, the architectural details
and the seats of the theatre are the only subjects that register
owing to the long exposure of each photograph, while the
unique lighting gives the works a surreal look, as a part of
Sugimoto's attempt to reveal time in photography.
In 1980 he began working on an ongoing series of photographs
of the sea and its horizon, Seascapes, in locations all over the
world, using an old-fashioned large-format camera to make
exposures of varying duration (up to three hours). The blackand-white pictures are all exactly the same size, bifurcated
exactly in half by the horizon line.