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Composition in photography

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  #41  
Old 05-27-2008, 04:23 PM
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Re: Composition in photography

After I straightened the horizon, the landscape version is what I would have done..
Unless you specified that the blue building was an important part of the picture.. then the one with the building is the way I would have gone.
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File Type: jpg Morocco-buildingA.jpg (98.5 KB, 23 views)
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  #42  
Old 05-27-2008, 05:20 PM
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Re: Composition in photography

Quote:
Originally Posted by One4UAll View Post
Janet,

I figured as much.

David
That did not come across very well.
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  #43  
Old 05-27-2008, 05:21 PM
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Re: Composition in photography

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye60
I posted this mainly to see how others would handle the crop, perhaps on some sort of techincal composition basis, rather than my "seat of the pants approach".
I understood that, but felt it would be helpful if you provided your thought process as well.

Quote:
But to answer your question of why I chose to crop as I did:
I felt there was too much sky which made the horizon almost split the image in two.
Agree. And since the sky was so dark and plain, it made the image look top heavy.

Quote:
The white wall on the right and the staircase leading down, was distracting to me and I felt it would lead the viewers eye in that direction.
I saw a curved leading line as the primary compositional element leading the viewer into and through the scene (see attached). I feel that by cropping off that wall, the line is severed leaving two detached areas. I agree that the brightness of the wall was a bit distracting, but that resulted from the very dark shoreline on the other side, a luminousity imbalance. By reducing the contrast between the two, it balances better.

Quote:
The bottom edge of the sea wall and the top edge of the blue building (in red) created a converging line that would tend to draw attention more to the central area of the photograph.
I get an uneasy feeling whenever I see a horizon that is not horizontal. I instinctly straighten them. When I did this though with this photo, the lines of the foreground building became uncomfortably tilted. To balance this I applied a perspective distortion to make the building parallel with the horizon. This, IMO, creates a more harmonious symmetry.

To put on a finishing touch, I added some clouds to give the stark sky some character.
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  #44  
Old 05-27-2008, 05:57 PM
One4UAll One4UAll is offline
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Re: Composition in photography

Quote:
Originally Posted by TreesOfMyTime View Post
That did not come across very well.
I agree & deleted it. My apologies to Janet.

David

Last edited by One4UAll; 05-27-2008 at 07:00 PM.
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  #45  
Old 05-27-2008, 06:00 PM
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Re: Composition in photography

Thank you, nicely done Lonnie. Very good point about the curve and the perspective, you have a good eye. Nice touch too on the cloud addition although I hadn not make any kind of corrections to the photo itself yet, (this is straight out of the camera) I was looking strictly at composition.
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  #46  
Old 05-27-2008, 06:54 PM
One4UAll One4UAll is offline
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Re: Composition in photography

Hawkeye,

This is my attempt at a crop. You may have considered a horizontal orientation before taking the picture & ruled it out, but I think a horizontal orientation would have been better than the vertical you did.

As someone has already pointed out, you have two pictures, here & it would have been better to have taken two separate photos. Many times I've been faced with how much I can get into a photo, yet have a pleasing composition. I've had to make painful choices.

I cropped the blue building at the bottom so that it gives some flavor of the local architecture, while adding a kind of frame at the bottom. That's as much of the blue building that should figure in this composition, in my opinion.

The sky was severely cropped, as it does not add to the info in the main part of the photo. Cropping the sky also raises the horizon level somewhat above center. If the tower is a focal point, it is not according to the Rule of Thirds, but sometimes the Rule can't always strictly apply, especially in this nice scene of a Moroccan seacoast.

As already pointed out, you have a nice curve from lower right toward the tower. As to comments re: the horizon line, I don't see a problem there. The top of the seawall in the background looks fairly level, as does the top of the wall leading to the tower. The only thing that bothers me is the slant of the blue building, due to the perspective from which you took the photo. I do like this photo, as I've cropped it.
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  #47  
Old 05-27-2008, 06:59 PM
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Re: Composition in photography

Quote:
Originally Posted by One4UAll View Post
Hawkeye,

This is my attempt at a crop. You may have considered a horizontal orientation before taking the picture & ruled it out, but I think a horizontal orientation would have been better than the vertical you did.
That was my first thought when I looked at this image as well!
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  #48  
Old 05-27-2008, 07:13 PM
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Re: Composition in photography

Quote:
Originally Posted by One4UAll View Post
It all starts with clicking the shutter. You can save a lot of time post-editing by getting it right in the first place. <Clip>
It gets to what you want: a landscape? a family or news event (composition doesn't matter)? a portrait? publication? art? personal collection? The more you decide the purpose in advance, the more or less composition applies.
David
I tend to agree with David,
When I took photo classes we learned how to crop a single picture for advertisement, art, jewelry and a bunch of other purposes that I forget.. anyway the single 8x10 head shot could be cropped into about 15 different compositions.. each of which was supposedly the correct way for its particular use.
A lot is said of practice, practice, practice but the vast majority of us practice on automatic settings which tends to force us to center things first.. then lock in the settings.. and then compose.. which is a far cry from, as my wife says, "I want to turn it on and take a picture without a bunch of nonsense!" We are an impatient society and those extra steps are not a part of the "I want it NOW!" generation.

A bit of my history:
Way back in the early 50's when I first got interested in photography my dad was quick to let me know how expensive film and processing was and if I was going to take pictures I had better get it right the first time and not waste film on bad pictures

After I took my first pictures of my dog, (all bad) I learned that what you saw in those little prisms (one for vertical and one for horizontal) on the little "Brownie 620" was not what was captured on film.. This resulted in lessons from dad on how to adjust and visualize what was actually going to be captured on the negative.. I had to adjust for parallax depending on distance from the subject plus take note of what would be missing or added to the shots. I think this learning process helped partially develop my feeble eye for composition and a very minimal "Photographers eye" because to get a good picture you had to compose it in your mind as well as on the negative in the camera by having to look at the foreground, background, top, bottom, and sides of where the image on the film should be and finalizing the photo before snapping the shutter.. then try to remember what you did on each pic while waiting what seemed like forever to see your results from the lab..

A Twin Lens Reflex was my next camera and was great for seeing almost exactly what you were shooting. This camera had a flip up/down magnifier built in for better focus. When in use it was right in the middle, a handy convenience.

Then came a 35mm with in camera spot meter, what a blessing.. if your subject was right in the middle of the frame the meter, or you, could adjust the exposure... Then through the lens metering, focusing, and actually being able to see what the lens saw and was putting on the film.. another blessing! But again almost all the attributes were centered in the frame.. Does there seem to be a pattern of learning to center things evolving here?

After the picture was taken if you had your own darkroom you could make magic happen.... enlarge, crop (Compose), dodge, burn, combine photos/negatives, use different grades of paper or different textures.. the things you could manipulate seemed endless.. So, after learning to center everything and getting a good exposure of your subject you could once again get back into good composition and aesthetics in the darkroom!
Hmmm, sounds like present day except instead of darkroom it is "Photoshop" (and much easier, I might add!)

When we look at a beautiful sunset we look at the whole thing in awe.. a seasoned photographer with that "photographer's eye" is able to spot a portion of that sunset that will create a good composition that evokes those same deep feelings we had witnessed in person.

I feel that you can know all or most of the mechanics of photography/retouching/painting but if you do not have the ability to visualize the finished outcome in your mind you may have a much rougher row to hoe. I think a seasoned photographer/retoucher/painter etc., has insight and can see things that others struggle to see.. The skill comes in the ability to see what looks good and being able to capture it and or crop it for the most dramatic, pleasing, aesthetic, artistic look.. so that other people can see it the same way. I think it takes years to learn, and a lifetime to master.
I am still trying to learn because there are three things I see all the time but have yet to capture recognizably in an image.. the man, lion, and old lady in the moon.. At night I have seen em all on the moon... but they have eluded me on any photos that I have taken trying to capture them..

For the past few years my better half has taken most of her pictures using digital... The camera has trained her to keep things in the middle for best point and click results.. "I want to turn it on and take a picture without a bunch of nonsense" is what I hear a lot of.. although she has gotten a lot better at hitting the telephoto button a few times before she snaps that picture of whatever is right smack in the middle. My job has been to processed them into prints. Thus far she has been happy with the crops, enlargements and placement of her subject matter even though it is seldom as she shot it.

I talked to my Grandson about this discussion on Composition in camera and his reply was short and to the point, “It’s going into Photoshop anyway, so why bother, as long as you have a good image to start with, you can Photoshop it any way you want later!” He brought up Dave Hill doing his composites... “Get the shot.. Manipulate it later!” I asked, “what if you don’t have Photoshop and just let Wally World process the pictures?” His answer, “Then you get what you got.. Find a friend with Photoshop if you want to change things.”

Old School.............VS ............. New School

Adjust settings ......................... Shoot a lot,
compose in frame .................... Memory is cheap
check settings .......................... hope for at least
shoot picture ............................ one keeper

WOW, this is a lot longer than I thought it would be! I offer my apologies for the long rambling read..
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  #49  
Old 05-27-2008, 07:29 PM
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TreesOfMyTime TreesOfMyTime is offline
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Re: Composition in photography

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0lBaldy View Post
I tend to agree with David,
When I took photo classes we learned how to crop a single picture for advertisement, art, jewelry and a bunch of other purposes that I forget.. anyway the single 8x10 head shot could be cropped into about 15 different compositions.. each of which was supposedly the correct way for its particular use.
A lot is said of practice, practice, practice but the vast majority of us practice on automatic settings which tends to force us to center things first.. then lock in the settings.. and then compose.. which is a far cry from, as my wife says, "I want to turn it on and take a picture without a bunch of nonsense!" We are an impatient society and those extra steps are not a part of the "I want it NOW!" generation.

A bit of my history:
Way back in the early 50's when I first got interested in photography my dad was quick to let me know how expensive film and processing was and if I was going to take pictures I had better get it right the first time and not waste film on bad pictures

After I took my first pictures of my dog, (all bad) I learned that what you saw in those little prisms (one for vertical and one for horizontal) on the little "Brownie 620" was not what was captured on film.. This resulted in lessons from dad on how to adjust and visualize what was actually going to be captured on the negative.. I had to adjust for parallax depending on distance from the subject plus take note of what would be missing or added to the shots. I think this learning process helped partially develop my feeble eye for composition and a very minimal "Photographers eye" because to get a good picture you had to compose it in your mind as well as on the negative in the camera by having to look at the foreground, background, top, bottom, and sides of where the image on the film should be and finalizing the photo before snapping the shutter.. then try to remember what you did on each pic while waiting what seemed like forever to see your results from the lab..

A Twin Lens Reflex was my next camera and was great for seeing almost exactly what you were shooting. This camera had a flip up/down magnifier built in for better focus. When in use it was right in the middle, a handy convenience.

Then came a 35mm with in camera spot meter, what a blessing.. if your subject was right in the middle of the frame the meter, or you, could adjust the exposure... Then through the lens metering, focusing, and actually being able to see what the lens saw and was putting on the film.. another blessing! But again almost all the attributes were centered in the frame.. Does there seem to be a pattern of learning to center things evolving here?

After the picture was taken if you had your own darkroom you could make magic happen.... enlarge, crop (Compose), dodge, burn, combine photos/negatives, use different grades of paper or different textures.. the things you could manipulate seemed endless.. So, after learning to center everything and getting a good exposure of your subject you could once again get back into good composition and aesthetics in the darkroom!
Hmmm, sounds like present day except instead of darkroom it is "Photoshop" (and much easier, I might add!)

When we look at a beautiful sunset we look at the whole thing in awe.. a seasoned photographer with that "photographer's eye" is able to spot a portion of that sunset that will create a good composition that evokes those same deep feelings we had witnessed in person.

I feel that you can know all or most of the mechanics of photography/retouching/painting but if you do not have the ability to visualize the finished outcome in your mind you may have a much rougher row to hoe. I think a seasoned photographer/retoucher/painter etc., has insight and can see things that others struggle to see.. The skill comes in the ability to see what looks good and being able to capture it and or crop it for the most dramatic, pleasing, aesthetic, artistic look.. so that other people can see it the same way. I think it takes years to learn, and a lifetime to master.
I am still trying to learn because there are three things I see all the time but have yet to capture recognizably in an image.. the man, lion, and old lady in the moon.. At night I have seen em all on the moon... but they have eluded me on any photos that I have taken trying to capture them..

For the past few years my better half has taken most of her pictures using digital... The camera has trained her to keep things in the middle for best point and click results.. "I want to turn it on and take a picture without a bunch of nonsense" is what I hear a lot of.. although she has gotten a lot better at hitting the telephoto button a few times before she snaps that picture of whatever is right smack in the middle. My job has been to processed them into prints. Thus far she has been happy with the crops, enlargements and placement of her subject matter even though it is seldom as she shot it.

I talked to my Grandson about this discussion on Composition in camera and his reply was short and to the point, “It’s going into Photoshop anyway, so why bother, as long as you have a good image to start with, you can Photoshop it any way you want later!” He brought up Dave Hill doing his composites... “Get the shot.. Manipulate it later!” I asked, “what if you don’t have Photoshop and just let Wally World process the pictures?” His answer, “Then you get what you got.. Find a friend with Photoshop if you want to change things.”

Old School.............VS ............. New School

Adjust settings ......................... Shoot a lot,
compose in frame .................... Memory is cheap
check settings .......................... hope for at least
shoot picture ............................ one keeper

WOW, this is a lot longer than I thought it would be! I offer my apologies for the long rambling read..
I am glad that you are such a good typist, because much of your history, equipment, thoughts and apparent age closely parallel my own and I never learned the typists craft.

I have, however, experienced much of what you have, including the advice to Grandchildren (now great Grandchildren). In spite of frustrations, the future is in good hands!
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  #50  
Old 05-27-2008, 08:23 PM
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hawkeye60 hawkeye60 is offline
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Re: Composition in photography

OlBaldy said: A Twin Lens Reflex was my next camera and was great for seeing almost exactly what you were shooting. This camera had a flip up/down magnifier built in for better focus. When in use it was right in the middle, a handy convenience.



Sounds like my old Mamiya C33 twin lens. Prior to that I had a Voigtlander 35mm rangefinder. I had a darkroom for more years than I care to remember. It always amazes me how hours in the darkroom have been replaced by a click of the mouse. Not always better but certainly faster.

Wow what memories, I can almost smell the stop bath...

Last edited by hawkeye60; 05-27-2008 at 08:29 PM.
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