RetouchPRO

Go Back   RetouchPRO > Technique > Photography
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Photography Both digital and film. Discussions about cameras, gear, exposure, technique, and sharing your photography

Composition in photography

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #51  
Old 05-27-2008, 08:52 PM
TreesOfMyTime's Avatar
TreesOfMyTime TreesOfMyTime is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Cumberland, RI
Posts: 179
Re: Composition in photography

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye60 View Post
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 It always amazes me how hours in the darkroom have been replaced by a click of the mouse.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...
I actually miss that smell!
Reply With Quote top
  #52  
Old 05-27-2008, 09:27 PM
hawkeye60's Avatar
hawkeye60 hawkeye60 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 266
Re: Composition in photography

I thought I'd post another one of Morocco that I took in the same area, since the first got such good feedback. Except for correcting the perspective to straighten the building, this is right out of the camera too.

Any cropping suggestions on this one?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Morocco-078.jpg (97.4 KB, 27 views)
Reply With Quote top
  #53  
Old 05-27-2008, 10:16 PM
cardmnal's Avatar
cardmnal cardmnal is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Albany, Oregon
Posts: 286
Blog Entries: 3
Re: Composition in photography

Janet, this has been a most interesting thread, thank you for starting it.

It is my belief that the reason so many people simply bullseye their shots is because it feels comfortable and balanced and that is the way we like to see things in our everyday lives. We tend to look at things directly, look people directly in the eye, stare straight at the television and we certainly don't watch our kids play in the park according to the rule of thirds.

______________________________________________________________

It is apparent from the responses to this thread, opinion of this subject vary as much as the people posting them.

I have seen mention of the rule of thirds, leading lines and even a mention of structure. All very important elements in composition and most successful works contain many of these elements as well as some others. I am a bit surprised, however, there has been no mention of balance.

Using Hawkeye's image as reference I will attempt an explanation. The original (1st image) Is striking at first glance. Upon closer inspection it becomes clear the tower is the intended focal point. The problem IMHO is the blue building and it's courtyard make the photo very bottom heavy detracting from it.

My first thought is to eliminate all the distractions so, using the approximate rule of thirds I move so the tower clearly became the most important part of the image (#2). Leaving a lot of sky makes it feel more balanced but the image is unspectactular at best.

Next (images 3 and 4) I changed to a horizontal format and eliminated the bottom weight and most of the sky. The white buildings near the middle are now the most weighted part of the photo creating tension and drawing the eye away from the tower. By placing the tower far to the left side of the image it acts as a counter weight and the image feels balanced (green). There is enough horizontal and vertical structure (yellow) for the image to seem solid and enough repetitive shapes (blue) to make it feel full and interesting. Finally the viewers eye is drawn to the tower by it's relative isolation and leading lines (red).


.......then again, I could be full of it


Alan
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Morocco-original.jpg (98.4 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg Morocco-TOWER.jpg (96.6 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg Morocco-TOWERbalance.jpg (93.9 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg Morocco-TOWERbalance-diag.jpg (93.2 KB, 30 views)

Last edited by cardmnal; 05-27-2008 at 10:21 PM.
Reply With Quote top
  #54  
Old 05-28-2008, 05:52 AM
palms's Avatar
palms palms is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: England
Posts: 5,685
Blog Entries: 30
Re: Composition in photography

Just to let you all know i am still following along (Just)
Mike i agree with you ( thats me) it is easy to use the bullseye, and i am just starting to take the camera off auto occasionally

The other night there was a documentary on, and there i was looking at the composition and why it had been shot in a certain way Thanks (i think)

now how about with regards to people/groups any one have a photo ?

Palms
Reply With Quote top
  #55  
Old 05-28-2008, 06:38 AM
Ziaphra's Avatar
Ziaphra Ziaphra is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 439
Re: Composition in photography

Sorry if this has been posted before as I have not read through the whole thread but here are a couple of great links on composition:

http://www.morguefile.com/archive/cl...m.php?lesson=1
http://www.sxc.hu/blog/post/689
Reply With Quote top
  #56  
Old 05-28-2008, 08:01 AM
Janet Petty's Avatar
Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Mid-South
Posts: 2,164
Blog Entries: 1
Re: Composition in photography

OlBaldy, I hear what your grandson is telling you. Tell him he is full of it (figuratively speaking of course). He needs to know that Photoshop can only fix so much, that there are only so many pixels in a photo, and that taking too many pixels for a crop will often destroy a picture when it comes time to print, especially if he wants something larger than the 4x6 that Wally World will print.

Cardmnal, great addition to the discussion. And your examples really make the point.

Ziaphra, those additions are very well done. Thank you for sharing. I've bookmarked them both.

Now, someone asked about posting a bad example/good example of people. Believe me, I have lots of both. Feel free to pick these apart. One is a good example of slicing too many pixels. That would be the Union soldier. One is a straight out of the camera snapshot. The other is the black and white conversion and crop.

Janet
Attached Images
File Type: jpg too many pixels gone.jpg (14.9 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg not cropped original.jpg (75.5 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg cropped-BW.jpg (123.4 KB, 16 views)

Last edited by Janet Petty; 05-28-2008 at 08:40 AM. Reason: added pictures
Reply With Quote top
  #57  
Old 05-28-2008, 11:21 AM
One4UAll One4UAll is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Montana, USA
Posts: 112
Re: Composition in photography

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye60 View Post
I thought I'd post another one of Morocco that I took in the same area, since the first got such good feedback. Except for correcting the perspective to straighten the building, this is right out of the camera too.

Any cropping suggestions on this one?
Unlike my comments on your earlier photo in which I thought a horizontal orientation was better, on this one, I think a vertical orientation would have been better. Why? Because I'm curious what that mural with the hands at the bottom looks like. Plus, it adds significant color, and could well be the focal point. You might have aimed your camera lower, reducing the sky & showing more of the mural.

Again, you should have taken two photos, or three: One horizontal for the buildings (your original), one vertical to get the mural in, & maybe one on the mural, itself. My crop eliminates the distraction of the mural & focuses on the shapes of the Moroccan dwellings as you probably intended.

In this crop, elements start standing out to give some organization to the composition. The architecture at upper left may be a primary focal point, now approximately positioned according to the Rule of Thirds, with the "chimney" on the right as a secondary focal point. Now you've got triangulation between those two focal points and the black square at the bottom. The lamp on the right adds a nice touch of opposition to the geometrics. Other details stand out, also.

I must add that this analysis is only after the fact; it's like revising in writing. You know, a first draft, etc.

In a link someone previously provided, here, on photo composition, the first principle is to "fill the frame." That's the first thing every photographer should think. Then, "how are you going to fill that frame?" That's when the Rule of Thirds, etc. kick in.

One example that drives me up the wall is when I see photos of, say, three people, standing for an informal portrait (you know, Mom, Dad, Sister, etc.). The photo is taken horizontally with distracting, uninformative details to left and right, while Mom, Dad, etc., are cut off at the waist. Get all they are in the photo with a vertical orientation and move in, because it is they & nothing else that are important.

The better you photograph, the less you have to photoshop. One cannot think of all the compositional details when taking a picture, unless one is a studio advertising photographer, with complete control. What I'm saying is think of two or three basics when you press the shutter, if you have time. The rest can, indeed, be worked out in Photoshop.

David
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Morocco-078.jpg (72.5 KB, 17 views)

Last edited by One4UAll; 05-28-2008 at 11:34 AM.
Reply With Quote top
  #58  
Old 05-28-2008, 02:54 PM
LonK's Avatar
LonK LonK is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: austin.tx.usa
Posts: 580
Re: Composition in photography

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye60 View Post
I thought I'd post another one of Morocco that I took in the same area.
Another very interesting shot hawkeye60.

Simplified.
Geometrics.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MoroccoCrop2.jpg (52.7 KB, 23 views)

Last edited by LonK; 05-28-2008 at 09:50 PM.
Reply With Quote top
  #59  
Old 05-28-2008, 03:38 PM
CJ Swartz's Avatar
CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Metro Phoenix area, Arizona
Posts: 3,345
Blog Entries: 19
Re: Composition in photography

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye60 View Post
I thought I'd post another one of Morocco that I took in the same area, since the first got such good feedback. Except for correcting the perspective to straighten the building, this is right out of the camera too.

Any cropping suggestions on this one?
Hawkeye60, your images have certainly helped expand the discussion! One aspect that interests me is that different people have posted different ideas about how the images could have been shot and what the photo subject appears to be. Different people standing in that same location would have been attracted to different aspects of that same scene and would have emphasized their chosen aspects. Composition begins with the choice of subject. Which aspects of this last image did you consider to be YOUR subject?
Reply With Quote top
  #60  
Old 05-29-2008, 11:53 AM
hawkeye60's Avatar
hawkeye60 hawkeye60 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 266
Re: Composition in photography

Thanks to everyone for their informative input...I am leaving for a trip to Israel and then on to Egypt (my 2nd time there) next week. I'll definately be taking more photos, hopefully I'll be taking along a "better eye" as well.
Reply With Quote top
Reply

  RetouchPRO > Technique > Photography


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Jill Greenberg, abusive photography? MatthewMarshall Photography 23 05-10-2012 04:13 AM
underwater photography shaunx Photography 3 01-23-2008 07:36 PM
Manipulation meets Photography II Calvinhollywood Critiques 6 01-20-2008 08:01 PM
Adorama's "100 Photography Tips in 100 days" CJ Swartz Photography 1 01-07-2008 08:59 PM
Panoramic photography blog Frank Lopes Photography 3 12-30-2007 06:55 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved