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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 04 Apr 2012 (Wednesday) 08:26
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Composition and all that Arty stuff - discussion thread.

 
mtimber
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Apr 04, 2012 08:26 |  #1

I thought it would be good to have a thread where we can discuss composition etc.

Offering and sharing tips, techniques and principles.

Also of course sharing videos and links on the subject.

Composition is such a huge part of photography and many of us have had no Art School education at all, so this thread can go a small way to alleviate that.

Post your thoughts, questions and observations and pictures here.

When you post a picture, please explain your compositional thoughts so others understand your image better.

Mark :-)


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mtimber
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Apr 04, 2012 08:26 |  #2

I found this link about composition in painting.

Very useful.

Watch how the teacher changes the images to show how it affects where the eye is drawn to:

http://www.youtube.com …DLhV24YOA&featu​re=related (external link)


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Apr 04, 2012 09:04 |  #3

I just wanted to "stop in" and say that I think this is a great idea for a thread!

I will stop in later this evening and add an image (no time to do so right now).

EDIT: IMAGE & COMMENTARY ADDED
I am posting an image here that presented a bit of a composition dilemma for me. Normally, I would like to have the subject's head a bit further to the left in an image of this nature. However, I really liked the way the leafy green of the Locust tree saplings framed the image. If I would have shifted the camera to the right, so as to place the buck's head where I typically like to see it, then I would have lost the vegetation that runs up above the buck's back along the left side of the frame. I felt that in this instance, it was better to include the vegetation, as it is a nice continuance of the vegetation that runs along the entire bottom half of the image.

I also want to note that I positioned the camera so that the backdrop for the buck's head was all sky. I do not like the look of images where the horizon line cuts thru the subject's head - especially when the horizon line is a contrasty "two-tone", as it is in this scenario. So, I either attempt to put the entirety of the subject's head in front of the sky, or put it entirely in front of the land. As long as the horizon line falls above the tip-tops of his antlers, or below his neck, I feel that it is properly placed, and will not be a distraction.


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mtimber
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Apr 04, 2012 09:17 |  #4

Look forward to it Tom. :-)


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airfrogusmc
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Apr 04, 2012 09:30 as a reply to  @ mtimber's post |  #5

These things are far more important than rules. What he is teaching is a visual language and the more fluent you become at this language the more you see in great work and the more it becomes part of a personal way of seeing.

There are books and courses to help in this journey.
http://char.txa.cornel​l.edu/language/introla​n.htm (external link)

Remember the more you learn these things the less you have to rely on restrictive rules.

Whats more important than say the RoTs is how objects and shapes are relating to the frame.

A great photographer once told me either everything in the frame is helping the visual statement and if its not helping that statement, then its hurting it. Nothing should just be there. There needs to be a reason why it is there.

Heres a great quote by Edward Weston concerning composition and personal style.

...."so called “composition” becomes a personal thing, to be developed along with technique, as a personal way of seeing." - Edward Weston




  
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mtimber
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Apr 04, 2012 09:48 |  #6

I will throw a picture in.

I was just trying to convey tone, shape, lines, texture and light with this image.

It sort of grew as I processed it, so it wasn't something I started with a clear idea of.

But once the lines and everything started emerging, I thought it had potential.

At one time, I would not have understood a picture like this, but I am beginning to see this type of photography, whilst in isolation might not be apprecieated by all, will deepen the composition when used with a stronger subject as in a portrait etc.


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IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
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Contrast and Light (external link) by mtimber1971 (external link), on Flickr

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Picture ­ North ­ Carolina
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Apr 04, 2012 09:51 as a reply to  @ mtimber's post |  #7

This website has been around for years, but for those unaware of it, a good resource:

http://photoinf.com/ (external link)


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airfrogusmc
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Apr 04, 2012 09:53 |  #8

mtimber wrote in post #14208172 (external link)
I will throw a picture in.

I was just trying to convey tone, shape, lines, texture and light with this image.

It sort of grew as I processed it, so it wasn't something I started with a clear idea of.

But once the lines and everything started emerging, I thought it had potential.

At one time, I would not have understood a picture like this, but I am beginning to see this type of photography, whilst in isolation might not be apprecieated by all, will deepen the composition when used with a stronger subject as in a portrait etc.


IMAGE NOT FOUND
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR

Contrast and Light (external link) by mtimber1971 (external link), on Flickr

My crit would be crop out the bright area at the top of the frame thus drawing really drawing attention to those shapes you mention. That large bright area is holding my eye and competing with your intent. Just cover that area with you hand and see the difference. Nice image BTW.




  
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Hard ­ Drive ­ Disk
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Apr 04, 2012 10:07 |  #9

airfrogusmc wrote in post #14208203 (external link)
My crit would be crop out the bright area at the top of the frame thus drawing really drawing attention to those shapes you mention. That large bright area is holding my eye and competing with your intent. Just cover that area with you hand and see the difference. Nice image BTW.

That is a great idea. +1


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airfrogusmc
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Apr 04, 2012 10:11 |  #10

Hard Drive Disk wrote in post #14208271 (external link)
That is a great idea. +1

Plus it moves the drops and pole from dead center which is another element that can trap the eye and keep it from moving through the frame. If theres a real reason to put something dead center then do it but I find most images are put there because its easier to focus with that placement not because thats the place that is working best for the visual statement.




  
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mtimber
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Apr 04, 2012 10:13 |  #11

Thanks for the critique Allen.

I understand your point.

But I liked the contrast of that section with the dark section underneath, almost like mirror shapes.

I might lower the brightness and see if that helps tone it down, whilst still maintaining the shapes.


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airfrogusmc
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Apr 04, 2012 10:21 |  #12

mtimber wrote in post #14208305 (external link)
Thanks for the critique Allen.

I understand your point.

But I liked the contrast of that section with the dark section underneath, almost like mirror shapes.

I might lower the brightness and see if that helps tone it down, whilst still maintaining the shapes.

If the shape was dark it wouldn't compete with the eye and I do like the repeating shape it makes but I don't think the center comp is helping either so its more than just the bright area at the top the center comp is also doing nothing to help the statement. It keeps the eye from exploring the shapes especially the shapes in the negative space which I think are very important and to me thats what this image is really about. The interesting shapes. Love the strong lines and geometric shapes and then the contrast of the water drops is really interesting. I don't see how the centered comp or the bright top helps me see that better. In fact, it seems to distract from that. The shape of the drops really stand out when they are the brightest areas in the frame and a bit off center. Its the small dif but what separates good from really good is usually something very small as pointed out in the education link you posted.




  
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mtimber
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Apr 04, 2012 12:09 |  #13

Picture North Carolina wrote in post #14208190 (external link)
This website has been around for years, but for those unaware of it, a good resource:

http://photoinf.com/ (external link)

Excellent link.


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mtimber
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Apr 04, 2012 12:40 |  #14

Just tried to tone the top section down a bit:

IMAGE NOT FOUND
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HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR

WS (2 of 1) (external link) by mtimber1971 (external link), on Flickr

Not sure if it works, other distracting things happening all around. :-)

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airfrogusmc
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Apr 04, 2012 13:00 |  #15

To crop would be much better....




  
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Composition and all that Arty stuff - discussion thread.
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