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Photo Composition

May 21, 2009 - Michael Palmer
Have you ever wondered why some pictures are more appealing than others?

One of the main reasons why some pictures stand out more than others is because of their strong composition.

That's what this blog is going to focus on.

How composition can improve your photographs?

I have included some examples, these are assignments that I had for this week, in each case I took what most amateur photographers would capture in a regular snapshot and then took a picture using a photographers eye for composition.

The definition for photographic composition is the pleasing selection and arrangement of subjects within the picture area. Shift your camera position, sometimes just a few inches, and it can make all the difference in composition.

Some snapshots may turn out to have good composition just by happenstance, but most good pictures are created. How do you create a picture?

Decide what is the main subject of the photo and then take a walk around the object when possible or move your camera around and look at the subject from different angles. Find one shot that puts your subject matter in a place that will focus attention to it and then look again to see how you can improve upon the standard frontal view that most photographers would accept for their picture.

In the graveyard I took the photo of the markers and cannon from a standing perspective, this picture is OK. It has all the required subject matter for the news article, however, by lowering my camera to near ground level and moving closer to the subject the photo becomes stronger and more pleasing to the eye.

The tank is well portrayed in the snapshot, it conveys all of the information necessary for the article. Once again, by moving to a different spot and changing our perspective on the object, we get a more dramatic and visually strong image.

The final one is a cannon in front of the courthouse in Cadiz. You can visualize how the standard shot would look from the cannon in the cemetery photo. This time the cannon is our subject matter and by lowering our angle and including the Harrison County Courthouse in the background, we both strengthen the composition and give the object an identity by associating it with the flag and building.

Try some of this during the next few weeks as you shoot your Memorial Day weekend photos, graduation ceremonies and family events and maybe you can e mail me the results and we will do a follow up blog featuring your photos.

To see the image larger just double click and it will appear in a new window. Good Luck and Good Shooting!


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