The Role of Composition – The Camera-Sutra of Photography

The Role of Composition – The Camera-Sutra of Photography

Anyone can take a picture without composition, right? All you got to do is just point and shoot, right? Being a proper photographer is so easy because all you got to do is click on your camera all day. Well, if you think all that then you should probably keep those little nuggets to yourself because if a proper photographer heard you even mutter something like that in their presence then be prepared to be clobbered on the head with a camera.

Photography is not just about putting your camera on auto and clicking while hoping for the best. It is all fine and dandy if those pictures are meant for a box under your bed. Pictures that you intend to sell and are paid to shoot need more punch than the auto function your camera can provide. What makes a picture a good picture? There are actually many factors but the one I will focus on today is composition.

What is the deal with Composition and what value does it add to taking pictures?

Photography is a form of art. A painter will stand in front of a blank canvas and be inspired with a bold stroke of a brush to add color as well as form. However a photographer has to judge what belongs in the frame before being inspired to snap a picture. The fundamental key to great composition is to simplify the image i.e. Keep the subject front and center while excluding all distracting extras within the frame.

Another trick is to approach a potential shot with a discerning eye by identifying which objects may lead your eye or which components sort of complement each other in color or size. Sometimes similar colors in a shot create synergy and balance however; bold colors offer a shot more depth or oomph.

Create instant drama by looking for lines and shapes like diagonals, triangles, curves and circles to showcase your subjects, adding panache to your picture. Use lines to excite the eye, force the audience to take another look instead of just inducing a yawn. Also use symmetry in some ways in a shot, this also works its way to pleasing the mind’s eye by translating into a harmoniously poised image.

Another fabulous composition technique is finding a frame within your frame. Try finding an attractive stony arch by velvety emerald-blue lagoon and use it to create a stunning visual enhanced by its own natural rocky frame.  Or position yourself strategically to capture a magnificent fuchsia and crimson sunset through your car rectangle rear-view mirror. This trick adds gravity and intensity to your focal point.

When you have your camera in hand, you have to be willing to go the extra mile to making your picture stand out even if that means doing the camera-sutra (Oh behave!). All that means is you got to be willing to be a contortionist to get those great details and create the right mood. Sometimes that calls for you to lie down on the floor, climb a ladder, kneel, bend and twist if need be.

Photography is complex make no mistake, however, learning how to compose a shot goes a long way to taking an ordinary picture and making it compelling enough to make you take a closer look.

Check out my post on the Canon EOS  Rebel T5i Bundle.


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