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Old 2nd of October 2008 (Thu)   #1
aebrown
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Default Composition Q

Well this failed in one of the forums already, but I'm hoping for more luck with this section...I have a senior portrait session and then a family portrait session coming up in the next few weeks. Other than searching through all the forums, I was wondering if there was a good book out there that gave good examples for what to do with composition? Including different settings/backgrounds to look for, different arrangements of people, good angles etc. etc. I'm confident in my abilities to make the people look good but its just getting their head to not look awkward is where I get scared or having an odd arrangement of the kids and parents.

Any suggestions or links?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 2nd of October 2008 (Thu)   #2
Deckham
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Default Re: Composition Q

Just a little extract of something I wrote a few minutes ago to someone in a mail. Maybe it will help, maybe not...(cut/paste)

The angle of head and direction of gaze has a great effect on how a viewer sees a subject. So much so, this could be called a science. Very quickly because I need to go make dinner, I’ll run through 3 main types with you:

Shot from above –
subject appears vulnerable/pleading/needy/lost/diminished/seductive (vulnerability)

Shot from straight-on -
subject appears honest/frank/open/simple/plain

Shot from below -
subject appears dominating/aggressive/powerful/larger-then-life/seductive (domineering)

Playing with these angles, and coupling them with direction – such as a shot from below of a subject looking over their shoulder and walking away, or, a shot from straight-on, of subject walking directly towards camera, etc – produces powerful evocations within the viewer.
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Old 9th of October 2008 (Thu)   #3
Steiglitz
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Default Re: Composition Q

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckham View Post
Just a little extract of something I wrote a few minutes ago to someone in a mail. Maybe it will help, maybe not...(cut/paste)

The angle of head and direction of gaze has a great effect on how a viewer sees a subject. So much so, this could be called a science. Very quickly because I need to go make dinner, I’ll run through 3 main types with you:

Shot from above –
subject appears vulnerable/pleading/needy/lost/diminished/seductive (vulnerability)

Shot from straight-on -
subject appears honest/frank/open/simple/plain

Shot from below -
subject appears dominating/aggressive/powerful/larger-then-life/seductive (domineering)

Playing with these angles, and coupling them with direction – such as a shot from below of a subject looking over their shoulder and walking away, or, a shot from straight-on, of subject walking directly towards camera, etc – produces powerful evocations within the viewer.
Very good advise!

I just want to add that varying the framing tilt can often bring a bit of drama to a composition. Straight on framing can be too boring, and keeping the subject in the center all the time is boring too. Bring a step ladder or chair to stand on to vary the angle of the shot....I cannot over emphasize the addition of a frame tilt..experiment and see what works.
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