Composition What You Should Know


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A presentation for all levels of photographers help understand photo composition and use it effectively.

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Composition What You Should Know

  1. 1. What You Should Know
  2. 2.  Composition – What is it? Rule of Thirds Balancing Elements Leading Lines Symmetry and Patterns View Point/Worm’s Eye View Background Depth or Depth of Field Motion Framing Cropping Experimentation
  3. 3. The term composition means putting together, and can apply to any workof art, from music to writing, that is arranged or put together usingconscious thought. In the visual arts, composition is often usedinterchangeably with various terms such as design, form, visual ordering,or formal structure, depending on the context. In graphic design anddesktop publishing, composition is commonly referred to as page layout.
  4. 4.  Snap shots are just that- no thinking involved. Is it interesting to look at…is the focal point in an interesting part of the picture? Move around your subject to get different vantage points and choose the best. Physically zoom in and out from your subject. SEE everything in your viewfinder and if possible, eliminate distracting elements in your photo.
  5. 5. Imagine that your image is divided into 9 equal segments by 2 vertical and 2 horizontallines. The rule of thirds says that you should position the most important elements in yourscene along these lines, or at the points where they intersect.Doing so will add balance and interest to your photo. Some cameras even offer an option tosuperimpose a rule of thirds grid over the LCD screen, making it even easier to use.
  6. 6. Place your subject so more open space is in the direction it is facing
  7. 7. Placing your main subject off-center, as with the rule of thirds, creates a moreinteresting photo, but it can leave a void in the scene which can make it feel empty.You should balance the "weight" of your subject by including another object oflesser importance to fill the space.
  8. 8. When we look at a photo our eye is naturally drawn along lines. By thinking abouthow you place lines in your composition, you can affect the way we view the image,pulling us into the picture, towards the subject, or on a journey "through" thescene. There are many different types of line - straight, diagonal, curvy, zigzag,radial etc. - and each can be used to enhance our photos composition.
  9. 9. We are surrounded by symmetry and patterns, both natural and man-made.,They can make for very eye-catching compositions, particularly in situationswhere they are not expected. Another great way to use them is to break thesymmetry or pattern in some way, introducing tension and a focal point to thescene.
  10. 10. Before photographing your subject, take time to think about where you will shootit from. Our viewpoint has a massive impact on the composition of our photo,and as a result it can greatly affect the message that the shot conveys. Rather thanjust shooting from eye level, consider photographing from high above, down atground level, from the side, from the back, from a long way away, from very closeup, and so on. From Above
  11. 11. From Below
  12. 12. Eye Level
  13. 13.  A worm’s eye view is an angle where you are looking up!…or what a worm would see! Make the photo more interesting to view- give it a new perspective. Can make things appear out of proportion or larger than life.
  14. 14.  An angle where you are looking down on something – as a bird would see. An aerial view Can make things appear smaller than life.
  15. 15. How many times have you taken what you thought would be a great shot, onlyto find that the final image lacks impact because the subject blends into a busybackground? The human eye is excellent at distinguishing between differentelements in a scene, whereas a camera has a tendency to flatten the foregroundand background, and this can often ruin an otherwise great photo. Thankfullythis problem is usually easy to overcome at the time of shooting - look aroundfor a plain and unobtrusive background and compose your shot so that itdoesnt distract or detract from the subject.
  16. 16. Because photography is a two-dimensional medium, we have to choose ourcomposition carefully to conveys the sense of depth that was present in the actualscene. You can create depth in a photo by including objects in the foreground,middle ground and background.The area of focus in front of and behind your subject.
  17. 17.  Achieved by having the aperture set to a larger opening. The smaller the f-stop number,(f/2.8) the shallower the depth of field.
  18. 18.  It is a way to show the main idea or focal point in focus and the foreground and/or background blurred. This shows off the emphasis and simplifies distractions.
  19. 19.  Achieved by having the aperture set to a smaller opening. The larger the f-stop number, (f/22) the greater the depth of field.
  20. 20.  Faster shutter speeds Remember – shutter speed is in fractions of seconds. 2000 or 1/2000 is the fastest shutter speed and will freeze a race car in it’s tracks.
  21. 21.  Slower shutter speeds will blur, or record motion. Shutter speed will have to be 30, or 1/30 of a second and below to record motion. Remember – shutter speeds below 1/60 need a tri-pod! Has an interesting effect on water – makes it appear soft and flowing.
  22. 22.  A "frame" in a photograph is something in the foreground that leads you into the picture. The frame can be natural (ex. branches) or man- made (ex. window)  Framing gives you a sense of where the viewer is, and borders the area of interest.
  23. 23. Often a photo will lack impact because the main subject is so small it becomeslost among the clutter of its surroundings. By cropping tight around the subjectyou eliminate the background "noise", ensuring the subject gets the viewersundivided attention.
  24. 24. Before Camera CropAfter Camera Crop
  25. 25. With the dawn of the digital age in photography we no longer have to worryabout film processing costs or running out of shots. As a result, experimentingwith our photos composition has become a real possibility; we can fire off tonsof shots and delete the unwanted ones later at absolutely no extra cost. Takeadvantage of this fact and experiment with your composition - you never knowwhether an idea will work until you try it.