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Composition in photography

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  #71  
Old 05-30-2008, 04:55 PM
One4UAll One4UAll is offline
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Re: Composition in photography

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Originally Posted by palms1 View Post
I made the two ladies a bit more prominent, but left the street in with the man as i wanted to see where they had been and what was round the corner, and cut out what i thought was extra mainly at the top and bottom and tried to straighten a bit Palms
Here, again is, I think, an example of trying to make one photo do two separate things. If the ladies are the focal point, make them as such & crop out everything else. The street they're on is a background, nothing more. You've got to decide whether this is a documentary of your two friends (in which case this photo works, as I've cropped it) or if it's the street. You can't split attention between the ladies and the street. They or the street have to predominate.

To get your friends into the scene of the street, make them models that add to the composition, as I've done in the second attachment. Don't make them compete with their environment. On the trip I was on with my two friends, I later took a portrait of them, straight on, in a different setting. I admit I could crop some of the foreground a bit. I'm not saying this is a great shot, but it shows how I had to decide whether my friends were to dominate or whether they were elements in the scene. For this shot, I chose the latter.
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File Type: jpg Ladies.jpg (66.1 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 203_09-04-Leer--J&K-on-Stre.jpg (153.1 KB, 20 views)
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  #72  
Old 05-30-2008, 05:00 PM
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Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
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Re: Composition in photography

Both of the crops are good.

The thingy in front of the two women is the problem. Too bad to have placed them behind it rather than in front of it...unless...the thingy was to be part of the picture in the first place. In which case, I would have placed the three subjects either in a triangle pattern or had the ladies rest a portion of their bodies against it with the thingy in the middle.

BTW, was a hard picture to shoot and expose as well as you did with the lighting in the alley being so shadowed and the bright light at the end.

Janet
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  #73  
Old 05-30-2008, 05:51 PM
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Re: Composition in photography

This is definitely one of those "we were here, on this picturesque street, behind this cool hitching-post thingy" point-and-shoot snapshots - made for memories, not for art. Therefore, I didn't see any point in trying to make it a superb arty composition. Just tried to make it a more pleasing memory to look at. Yes, the hitching-post (might it be a communal water faucet?) is distracting, but it was a part of the locale important enough to the couple* that they wanted it with them. With that in mind, I just offset the two people, cropped out excessive building parts, and let the curving street have a little more prominence.

*The Adam's Apple on the camera right 'lady' should have been a dead giveaway, guys.
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  #74  
Old 05-30-2008, 07:04 PM
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LonK LonK is offline
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Re: Composition in photography

Before anyone else gets carried away making profile assumptions, let me share some facts. The lady on the right is my cousin. She is 62 (widowed with two grown sons) and is a personal care nurse living in Germany with her charge (on the left) who is 87. Together, they travel throughout Europe quite a bit.

This photo was taken by a bystander of the two of them enjoying a site-seeing stroll through the old streets of Riga, Latvia last September. In that respect, I have little doubt the photo was primarily meant to document their presence there. I don't know what that fixture is in front of them (I would guess it is a hitching post), but I'll ask if you really want to know.

Nowthen, back to the subject at hand...

Last edited by LonK; 05-30-2008 at 07:28 PM.
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  #75  
Old 05-30-2008, 07:29 PM
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CathyH CathyH is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Composition in photography

Quote:
Originally Posted by One4UAll View Post
Here, again is, I think, an example of trying to make one photo do two separate things. If the ladies are the focal point, make them as such & crop out everything else. The street they're on is a background, nothing more. You've got to decide whether this is a documentary of your two friends (in which case this photo works, as I've cropped it) or if it's the street. You can't split attention between the ladies and the street. They or the street have to predominate.

To get your friends into the scene of the street, make them models that add to the composition, as I've done in the second attachment. Don't make them compete with their environment. On the trip I was on with my two friends, I later took a portrait of them, straight on, in a different setting. I admit I could crop some of the foreground a bit. I'm not saying this is a great shot, but it shows how I had to decide whether my friends were to dominate or whether they were elements in the scene. For this shot, I chose the latter.
I really like your suggestion of making the people part of the scene, as stated the first photo is obvious a snap shot, and I cropped it like most of you, in a 4x6 ratio for prints.
But I'm going to remember to also place my friends and family into the scene.
This is a great thread.
cathy
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  #76  
Old 05-30-2008, 08:18 PM
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Re: Composition in photography

Woops! Sorry I accused your cousin of having an Adam's apple, Lonnie. /Hangs head in shame/
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  #77  
Old 05-30-2008, 08:39 PM
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grannysdc grannysdc is offline
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Re: Composition in photography

The purpose of the photo dictates how to crop.

I would crop/print it as a straight up tourist shot. "Here we are in WhateverLand, look how happy we are!"

Sort of like a "grin and grip" news shot.
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  #78  
Old 05-30-2008, 08:43 PM
One4UAll One4UAll is offline
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Re: Composition in photography

Using friends, family, even yourself as a model in a photo is nothing new, btw. Probably 50 yrs ago, I read a photo magazine article on how to avoid the "this is us, here" kind of photos. You know, people standing in front of some monument, famous landscape, or other famous site, grinning, straight-on into the camera. You can include them as an element in the composition while retaining their identity. But, don't have them looking at the camera!

A couple of more examples I can give, w/o attachments: When my wife & I were at a view of the Eiffel Tower, I put my camera on a tripod with self-timer & positioned my wife & I over to one side, as two people looking on the scene. More recently, I was in Greece & was asked by a mother & daughter to take a picture of them with a temple in the distance. I did so, but later thought, "Why couldn't I have placed one on the left, the other on the right, with the one on the right pointing to the temple in between, with the two of them looking at each other in profile in a kind of conversation?" There's all kinds of things you can do with this. Provided that you think of it at the time, which I didn't do in this second example. Don't be satisfied with one shot. If you have time, try 2 or 3 in addition to the head-on shot, unless your "models" get bored easily.
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  #79  
Old 05-31-2008, 04:23 PM
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LonK LonK is offline
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Re: Composition in photography

I can see most are making great progress in understanding many of the basic elements of effective composition. It most certainly has helped me to review the guidelines.

One of the most challenging tasks any photographer faces is converting a real 3D scene onto a 2D medium while trying to retain the dimensionality. To do this, he must employ some visual "trickery", if you will.

If I may, let me suggest a few depth enhancing techniques that can dramatically improve some compositions:

1. Color contrast. Warm colors project. Cool colors recede. Another way to punctuate a subject is to accentuate its warmer colors and contrast that against cooler, less saturated colors in the surrounding (supporting) setting.

2. Luminosity contrast. Bright objects project. Dark objects recede. A brighter subject placed against a darker background inherently exacts more attention.

3. Focus contrast. A subject in sharp focus draws attention. By controlling the depth of field in a photo, an image's center of interest can be ensured.

While these psychotropic compositional aspects are also best attended to in camera, they can be convincingly imitated to a certain extent in post to enhance a composition.
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  #80  
Old 05-31-2008, 04:32 PM
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crazyfly1 crazyfly1 is offline
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Re: Composition in photography

Here's one I thought would be fun. I find portraits pretty easy, focus on the eye. Landscapes can be pretty straight forward too. This is one of a type that always baffles me.
I'll post my attempt after this one. Have fun.
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