PART 12: COMPOSITION : BECOMING AN ARTIST !

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UNDERSTANDING COMPOSITION IN ART:

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THIS IS THE 12TH OF A 13 PART SERIES, AND WE ARE COMING TO THE FUN PART OF THE WHOLE SERIES.  WE HAVE DONE ALL THE TECHNICAL THINGS, AND LOOKED AT THE THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH YOUR CAMERA.

NOW I AM GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE RULES OF COMPOSITION.  THESE RULES APPLY TO ART WORK AS WELL AS PHOTOGRAPHY.  I HOPE THAT ONE THING I CAN IMPRESS UPON YOUR MIND IS THAT IF YOU SHOOT PHOTOS FOR THE PURPOSE OF CREATING ART WORK, RATHER THAN JUST SNAP SHOTS, THEN YOU ARE CREATING ART WORK.  THINK ART !!!   EVERYTHING YOU DO WITH YOUR CAMERA IS GOING TO BE ART.  NOT SNAPSHOTS.  WELL, FOR MEMORIES SAKE, YOU MAY TAKE SNAPSHOTS OF YOUR FAMILY, TOO, BUT, WHAT IF YOU TOOK PHOTOS OF YOUR FAMILY WITH THE IDEA THAT THEY ARE WORKS OF ART TOO?  YOU WILL ENJOY THEM SO MUCH MORE, IF YOU KNEW HOW TO TAKE PHOTOS OF PEOPLE IN THE FASHION OF ART, AS WELL.  WE WILL DISCUSS THAT FURTHER IN PART 13.  

LET’S MAKE A COUPLE OF QUICK NOTES HERE:  

  1. IF YOU FOLLOW THE RULES OF COMPOSITION, YOU WILL MAKE BETTER PHOTOS, AND THE PHOTO WILL BE MORE PLEASING
  2. WINNING PHOTOS ARE JUDGED BY HOW WELL YOU FOLLOW THE RULES OF COMPOSITION 98% OF THE TIME.
  3. PEOPLE NATURALLY LIKE PHOTOS THAT FOLLOW RULES OF COMPOSITION, THAT IS WHY THE RULES WERE CREATED….. IT’S NATURAL TO THE HUMAN BRAIN.
  4. AND OF COURSE:  RULES ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN… BUT DON’T PLAN ON IT.

LET’S GO THROUGH THE RULES, THEN YOU WILL KNOW WHAT TO THINK ABOUT AS YOU TAKE YOUR PHOTOS:

1- RULE OF THIRDS:

Place points of interest on intersections or important elements along the lines.  Never place the subject directly in the middle of your frame.  If you place it in the middle it seems to create some kind of static.  If you place it on one of the points of 1/3, then it feels more pleasing.  composition-rules-rule-of-thirds

2-  LEADING LINES:

Use natural lines to lead the viewer’s eye into the picture.  Find lines in the photo that will draw your eyes to another subject in the viewfinder.  The lines become something that directs your eyes to the real main subject.

OCEAN 6

3- DIAGONALS:

Use diagonal lines to create movement.

composition-rules-diagonal-lines

4-  USE NATURAL FRAMING:  

You can use natural framing like doors and windows.  Outdoors, use the trees, or natural formations:

landscape-photography-composition

5- FIGURE TO GROUND:

Find a contrast between subject and ground:  Portraits can be much more interesting when the subject has a darker background behind the subject.  Or if the subject is dark, go with the lighter background.

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6-  FILL THE FRAME:

Don’t waste space in your viewfinder.  Fill the frame in your photos.

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Photo by Rico Ter Haar Phtogography

7- CENTER THE DOMINANT EYE:

Placing the dominant eye in the center of the photo will give the impression that the eyes follow you.  You ever seen a photo where it seemed like the eyes were just watching you and they followed you, no matter where you went in the room.  Put the dominant eye in the center.

composition-rules-dominant-eye

8- PATTERNS AND REPETITION:

Patterns are aesthetically pleasing, but are best when interrupted.

essential-composition-rules-patterns

 

9- SYMMETRY:

Symmetry is also pleasing to the eye.

SYMMETRY

THAT’S MORE RULES THAN I USUALLY COME UP WITH, BUT MOST OF THE RULES THAT HAVE COME UP WITH AS I HAVE TAUGHT THROUGH THE YEARS.  SO, THE CHALLENGE IS NOW, TO GO  OUT AND TRY TO USE THESE RULES AS YOU TAKE PHOTOS.  AND WATCH HOW MUCH MORE YOUR PHOTOS WILL LOOK BETTER TO YOU.  FOR EXAMPLE, TRY TO PUT YOUR SUBJECT IN THE CENTER, AND THEN TRY TO FRAME THEM IN THE THIRDS OF YOUR FRAME.  AS YOU TAKE SUNSET PHOTOS NOW, NEVER PUT THE HORIZON DOWN THE MIDDLE, BUT PUT IN EITHER THE TOP THIRD OR THE BOTTOM THIRD:

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Note now:  never shoot a sunset again with the horizon line in the middle. Put it either in the top third or bottom third of the photo.

THIS IS THE TIME TO HAVE FUN.  THE TIME TO BECOME AN ARTIST.  WE WILL HAVE MORE INFORMATION ON COMPOSITION, SO YOUR JOB NOW IS TO PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.

 

 

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