Martes, Enero 3, 2012

10 Top Photography Composition Rules

It may sound clich├ęd, but the only rule in photography is that there are no rules. However, there are are number of established composition guidelines which can be applied in almost any situation, to enhance the impact of a scene. These guidelines will help you take more compelling photographs, lending them a natural balance, drawing attention to the important parts of the scene, or leading the viewer's eye through the image. Once you are familiar with these composition tips, you'll be surprised at just how universal most of them are. You'll spot them everywhere, and you'll find it easy to see why some photos "work" while others feel like simple snapshots.

Rule of Thirds

Imagine that your image is divided into 9 equal segments by 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines. The rule of thirds says that you should position the most important elements in your scene along these lines, or at the points where they intersect.
Doing so will add balance and interest to your photo. Some cameras even offer an option to superimpose a rule of thirds grid over the LCD screen, making it even easier to use.

Balancing Elements

Placing your main subject off-centre, as with the rule of thirds, creates a more interesting photo, but it can leave a void in the scene which can make it feel empty. You should balance the "weight" of your subject by including another object of lesser importance to fill the space.
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Leading Lines

When we look at a photo our eye is naturally drawn along lines. By thinking about how you place lines in your composition, you can affect the way we view the image, pulling us into the picture, towards the subject, or on a journey "through" the scene. There are many different types of line - straight, diagonal, curvy, zigzag, radial etc - and each can be used to enhance our photo's composition.

Symmetry and Patterns

We are surrounded by symmetry and patterns, both natural and man-made., They can make for very eye-catching compositions, particularly in situations where they are not expected. Another great way to use them is to break the symmetry or pattern in some way, introducing tension and a focal point to the scene.

Viewpoint

Before photographing your subject, take time to think about where you will shoot it from. Our viewpoint has a massive impact on the composition of our photo, and as a result it can greatly affect the message that the shot conveys. Rather than just shooting from eye level, consider photographing from high above, down at ground level, from the side, from the back, from a long way away, from very close up, and so on.

Background

How many times have you taken what you thought would be a great shot, only to find that the final image lacks impact because the subject blends into a busy background? The human eye is excellent at distinguishing between different elements in a scene, whereas a camera has a tendency to flatten the foreground and background, and this can often ruin an otherwise great photo. Thankfully this problem is usually easy to overcome at the time of shooting - look around for a plain and unobtrusive background and compose your shot so that it doesn't distract or detract from the subject.

Depth

Because photography is a two-dimensional medium, we have to choose our composition carefully to conveys the sense of depth that was present in the actual scene. You can create depth in a photo by including objects in the foreground, middle ground and background. Another useful composition technique is overlapping, where you deliberately partially obscure one object with another. The human eye naturally recognises these layers and mentally separates them out, creating an image with more depth.

Framing

The world is full of objects which make perfect natural frames, such as trees, archways and holes. By placing these around the edge of the composition you help to isolate the main subject from the outside world. The result is a more focused image which draws your eye naturally to the main point of interest.

Cropping

Often a photo will lack impact because the main subject is so small it becomes lost among the clutter of its surroundings. By cropping tight around the subject you eliminate the background "noise", ensuring the subject gets the viewer's undivided attention.

Experimentation

With the dawn of the digital age in photography we no longer have to worry about film processing costs or running out of shots. As a result, experimenting with our photos' composition has become a real possibility; we can fire off tons of shots and delete the unwanted ones later at absolutely no extra cost. Take advantage of this fact and experiment with your composition - you never know whether an idea will work until you try it.
Composition in photography is far from a science, and as a result all of the "rules" above should be taken with a pinch of salt. If they don't work in your scene, ignore them; if you find a great composition that contradicts them, then go ahead and shoot it anyway. But they can often prove to be spot on, and are worth at least considering whenever you are out and about with your camera.

Lunes, Disyembre 19, 2011

5 basic Steps for a Great Photography


Just like athletes, a photographer’s skill comes from hours of training, accompanied by dedicated experimentation.
By its nature, creative exploration means going beyond the easy and familiar. Trying new tools or techniques, after initial frustration, can lead to great discoveries and open new ways of self-expression.
The goal is to come up with your own interpretation of the subject. This takes time, patience, and the discipline of using your eye to try to see beyond what is in front of you.
Below I listed 5 tools which, with practice, will help you to create strong sense of visual excitement in your images and ultimately to allow you to express the feelings that prompted you to take photographs in the first place.

1. Light



Light is the most important aspect of photography. Understanding light will enable you to take advantage of any lighting situation. You can do that by studying your most successful photographs.
Look for the light and what it’s doing in each of your images. Is it hard or soft, defuse or directional?
Look at the shadows, identify where the light is coming from. Become aware of light and its magic. On the field, use this knowledge to your advantage. Make the most of what is available.




2. Colour



Colour has an enormous impact on us. It can influence your mood and express your feelings. Learn some basic principles of colour theory. Familiarize yourself with the 4 basic dimensions of colour: hue, value, intensity and temperature. Discover the secret language of colour and its meaning. Using colour concisely will help you to create interesting compositions.





3. Abstraction



Everything you photograph is composed of shapes. You cannot photograph a tree, you can only photograph a form and colour that conveys the visual information of a tree.
Therefore, it is important for you as a photographer to be able to see subjects as shapes. Train yourself to break down the scene in front of you into areas of simple shapes and colour. It will help you to create simple composition with a clear message.






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                                4. Elements of design



The elements of design are the building blocks used to create a work of art. The most basic element in any photograph is lines. Being conscious of the subtle feelings associated with lines will allow you to manipulate a photograph’s emotional impact. For example a horizontal line suggests calmness and tranquility, a vertical line gives a feeling of balance, oblique suggests movement.


To create more effective photographs, actively look for lines and arrange them within your viewfinder to evoke specific feelings.

5. Techniques


Techniques are important to the success of any photograph(s). You should practice to the point that they become second nature. Then you will have the freedom to create. But remember, techniques should not detract from what you are trying to communicate. They are there to help you make that message clearer. It can become a pointless exercise where there is too much reliance on technique.
There you have it: 5 simple steps to better photography. Now, go and create, experiment and most of all have fun. And don’t be afraid of making mistakes. As Garry Marshall once said “It’s always helpful to learn from your mistakes because then your mistakes seem worthwhile. “

Eva Polak is fine art photographer based in Auckland who specializes in impressionist photography. Author of two books “At the beach” and “Impressionist Photography Techniques” – visit her site at www.evapolak.com.