BASICS OF COMPOSITION
An essential feature of any photograph is what
photographers call the ‘composition’. It is basically
the relative arrangem...
COMPOSITION BASICS - HOW TO GET
GOOD PICTURES


Focus: A shot in focus is crisp and clear, with good
definition of object...


Depth: Photographs are two-dimensional. To make
images more real and alive we try to give the
illusion of depth. Helpfu...
Foreground - the part of the photo that is closest to
the camera - the branches in front of a park scene.
Background - t...
Depth of Field: This is the portion of the photograph
that is in clear sharp focus. How much of the picture is
crisp? To g...
Contrast: Variety adds to your photograph. The
subject should be the lightest area of the screen
because our eyes are draw...
Framing: Fill the screen with the main object. Get
a tight shot of your subject.

Notice how the Sunflower fills the shot...
CAMERA COMPOSITION
Headroom: Enough room for the subject's head.
Space around their head yet not too much. Too low in
the...
Perfect Headroom

Avoid Distractions: Keep the photo as basic
as possible. Also, look to see what else is in the
screen t...
Notice the Poles in the Back? Too Many Distractions!

Avoid "floating heads": Don't cut people off at
the neck - or body ...
Give "look-space"/ walking room: This is space in
the frame that is in front of their eyes that allows them
room to look ...
CAMERA ANGLE
The best place to put the camera for a neutral
feeling about the subject is at their eye level.
High angle:...
Low angle: Placing the camera above the subject
gives the viewer the feeling that the subject is small or
diminutive. The...
Distance to subject: If the subject is farther away,
they appear smaller and also of less importance.
Similarly, if the s...
SHOTS
To make your final product more interesting (and
informative) include a variety of pictures (shots). Shot
sizes ran...
3. MS = medium shot (waist up)

4. MCU = Medium close-up (mid chest up)

5. CU = Close-up (head and shoulders)
6. ECU = Extreme Close-up (face - or eyes!)

7. OTS = Over the Shoulder

8. Single = One person in the frame
9. 2-Shot = Two people in the frame

10. 3-Shot = Three people in the frame
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Basics of composition

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Basics of composition

  1. 1. BASICS OF COMPOSITION
  2. 2. An essential feature of any photograph is what photographers call the ‘composition’. It is basically the relative arrangement of the various features in a photograph, designed to please, instruct or entertain the viewer.  The subject matter can be viewed from several angles as only some of them will be pleasing. The photographer tries to capture the view which gives the best composition.  Painters are at an advantage over photographers because they can create what they wish to. But a photographer can only change his viewpoint or change the focal length of the lens but cannot add anything to the scene. Of course, he can also play with the tone and sharpness of the final print to achieve the desired result. 
  3. 3. COMPOSITION BASICS - HOW TO GET GOOD PICTURES  Focus: A shot in focus is crisp and clear, with good definition of object. Most digital cameras have automatic focus and manual focus. Selecting automatic focus allows you to get quick action photos. Selecting manual focus allows you to determine what you want in focus: background, foreground, usually a person's eyes, or one person in front of another.
  4. 4.  Depth: Photographs are two-dimensional. To make images more real and alive we try to give the illusion of depth. Helpful hints: avoid shooting people up against a wall, pull them away from the wall, have them stand with a room or field behind them. Light the subject or have them be the brightest object. Or, if you're shooting a building, shoot it at an angle (from the corner) and have some branches be in the shot - close, yet out of focus (to add an element of foreground depth).
  5. 5. Foreground - the part of the photo that is closest to the camera - the branches in front of a park scene. Background - the part of the photo that is farthest from the camera - the mountains behind a park scene.
  6. 6. Depth of Field: This is the portion of the photograph that is in clear sharp focus. How much of the picture is crisp? To get lots of the photo in focus have lots of light and have the subject farther away from the camera. You may want to have a shallow depth of field (only the subjects eyes in focus, for example) then you would decrease the light and move the subject closer to the camera.
  7. 7. Contrast: Variety adds to your photograph. The subject should be the lightest area of the screen because our eyes are drawn to light. The background behind them should be darker. Placing the sun behind you will assist you in getting good lighting.  Exposure: Exposure is the amount of light entering the camera. A picture looks its best with proper light and exposure. Usually the camera gives automatic exposure. As you get more comfortable with the camera, try manually controlling the lights and exposure to get the best pictures. 
  8. 8. Framing: Fill the screen with the main object. Get a tight shot of your subject. Notice how the Sunflower fills the shot.
  9. 9. CAMERA COMPOSITION Headroom: Enough room for the subject's head. Space around their head yet not too much. Too low in the frame (too much headroom) makes them appear short. Not enough headroom makes them look tall and scrunched. Correct headroom gives the subject just enough space around their head to make them look comfortable. Not Enough Headroom
  10. 10. Perfect Headroom Avoid Distractions: Keep the photo as basic as possible. Also, look to see what else is in the screen that you may not want there. Are there distracting lines, lights, objects? Clear them out by moving either your camera or your subject. Be aware of light poles, phone lines or antlers that appear to be coming out of people's heads.
  11. 11. Notice the Poles in the Back? Too Many Distractions! Avoid "floating heads": Don't cut people off at the neck - or body joints, this is disconcerting to the viewer.
  12. 12. Give "look-space"/ walking room: This is space in the frame that is in front of their eyes that allows them room to look or walk. So they don't look like they will bump into the edge of the photograph.
  13. 13. CAMERA ANGLE The best place to put the camera for a neutral feeling about the subject is at their eye level. High angle: In relation to subject placing the camera lower than the subject gives the feeling that the subject is tall or powerful. The viewer is "looking up" to the subject. (For example: a king, president or respected elder).
  14. 14. Low angle: Placing the camera above the subject gives the viewer the feeling that the subject is small or diminutive. The viewer is "looking down" on the subject.
  15. 15. Distance to subject: If the subject is farther away, they appear smaller and also of less importance. Similarly, if the subject is closer to the camera, the subject is bigger in the photo and seems more important. Closer brings out detail - the viewer can see the person's face and expressions.
  16. 16. SHOTS To make your final product more interesting (and informative) include a variety of pictures (shots). Shot sizes range from extreme long shots (person far away), to extreme close ups (just their eyes). Samples: 1. ELS = Extreme Long Shot (person in surroundings) 2. LS = Long Shot (whole body)
  17. 17. 3. MS = medium shot (waist up) 4. MCU = Medium close-up (mid chest up) 5. CU = Close-up (head and shoulders)
  18. 18. 6. ECU = Extreme Close-up (face - or eyes!) 7. OTS = Over the Shoulder 8. Single = One person in the frame
  19. 19. 9. 2-Shot = Two people in the frame 10. 3-Shot = Three people in the frame

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