Creatively Composed part 6. Geometry and lines in photography

After compositional balance and visualization comes structures like geometry, lines, symmetry and layers. So, to kick off, this post will concentrate on geometry and lines.

Nature loves straight lines and geometry.  These should be viewed as objects in composition in the same way as a person, animal, tree or house is , in order to compose an aesthetically pleasing image.

Compositional balance, the rule of thirds and so on, is about placing elements in a frame.

Those elements are obvious, they are forests, trees, roads, buildings. In fact, all the things that we see when we go outside. Obviously!

But there are other elements that are not objects in the conventional sense, but must be placed in a photo in the same way as objects.

Those elements are geometry, lines, leading lines, vanishing points, layers.

This post will start off explaining the importance of geometry and lines…

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Creatively Composed 5. Methods for visualizing a photograph

After the previous four techniques including the ‘rule of thirds’ the next thing to do is to find something to compose with my camera, and that is where visualization comes in…

As an outdoors photographer it is impossible to only ever pre-conceive my photography in advance, sometimes spontaneity and intuition are required.

In photography as in life, there is a yin and a yang to the way things tend to work out

So when I am told one thing, I think the other, or at least ask why.

When I am told to plan my photographic compositions ahead of time, like a day or week in advance, I start to ask questions.

And that’s because I see now, and I tend to photograph now. Then I read about Ansel Adams, including his version of visualizing an image, and I realised that I had my own version of the visualization technique, and here it is in all its glory…

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Creatively Composed 4. Compositional balance and the rule of thirds

This post describes the last two techniques or rules that all photographers use to create compelling images. It doesn’t matter if you shoot portraits or landscapes, the techniques for composition are the same.

Don't be fooled into believing all photos benefit from employing the rule of thirds...sometimes it is other compositional techniques that got the picture.

We now know that separating elements in a frame, giving them their own space creates a pleasing visual effect.

And we also know that placing objects that ‘want’ to leave the frame for compositional purposes is also critical to the aesthetic quality of an image.

That’s what we already know. Now we go onto balancing a composition so that the eye is drawn to the areas of a photo that the photographer intended.

And finally we will tie all this up into one big knot, otherwise known as the rule of thirds…

…so here we go…

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Creatively Composed 3. Three compositional techniques, plus the rule of thirds

The next two articles will describe the three techniques of composition plus the rule of thirds, employed by all photographers if they want to create aesthetically pleasing images

Three compositional techniques combine to create the rule of thirds.  Learn them and your photography will improve significantly.

All photographs employ the same compositional techniques

It doesn’t matter whether you are a portrait photographer or a landscape photographer or anything in between, the three techniques described in this article are common to all photography.

Collectively these techniques combine visually to form the so called ‘rule of thirds’

These are the three most important techniques in photographic composition and should be understood and employed by everyone who wants to take compelling images.

This article describes the first two, and the next article will explain the third, plus the rule of thirds.

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Creatively Composed – 2. What are those compositional rules?

Composition is about technique, not rules. Now it’s time to explain what the techniques are and when to employ them

Composition is technique not rules. You need to want to be there, so to speak, and then you need to feel inspired.

To take a good photograph you need to engage with your subject and surroundings.

Composing the image is the final element of the picture taking process, a process that should be initiated by a moment of inspiration.

I can’t emphasise enough the point that you have to want to be there in order to take pleasing images. Wherever ‘there’ is doesn’t matter. This post will explore good and bad composition before listing three techniques that are employed by every compelling and aesthetically pleasing photograph ever taken.

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Creatively Composed – 1. introduction to composition in photography

The root of all photography is composition. This post is the first post of a series of articles that will explore and explain that simple fact.

Composition is king.  How to compose for a particular situation is key to good photography.

You don’t need expensive gear to take good pictures, what you need is a good eye and good composition.

The good news is that everyone has a good eye and composition is learnable (by everyone).

But if you want to create that classic black and white image, you first need to get the composition right.

This new series of posts is based on my Ebook – ‘Creatively Composed’ which was written to explain my personal picture making process so that if you like my photography, that ebook tells you exactly how I create them.

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Visualization in photography

Visualization is an ability that we all have, learn here how to use it in your photography.

This evening shot is an example of visualization-on-the-fly

This beach shot is an example of pre-planning or maybe you might call it pre-visualization

To me, visualization is something common to all of us, and it’s partly our natural ability to recognise beauty in objects and in our surroundings

In photography it translates as that moment when you are walking around minding your own business, and you see something and say to yourself ‘I bet that would make a great photograph’

We all have those moments, whether we are photographers or not

This article explains how to harness this instinctive natural reaction, and apply it to creating great photographs, that draw the viewer in and makes them want to keep looking!

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8 tips for better photography – If it looks right, it is right

Part 8 of 8…..The only thing that matters about a photograph is that it looks the way you want it to look. How you get to that point is less important.

Your photography belongs to you.  If it looks right, then it is right

Photography is simple, really simple.

If it looks right, then it is right. Don’t let a histogram or a compositional rule tell you any different!

We don’t use graphs or histograms or this statistic or that statistic to tell how good a picture is.

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8 tips for better photography – Don’t be intimidated by other photographers

Part 7 of 8….Develop your photography at your own speed. Use other photography as inspiration but don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by it. With practice and an open mind anyone can create visually exciting photographs.

We are all on a learning curve, don't be intimidated by what others are doing, just relax and develop your photography at your own pace

Don't be intimidated by other photographers...

It’s easy for beginners or occasional photographers to look at the photography of accomplished photographs, and think that they will never achieve the same level as them.

But many of those accomplished photographers were also beginners just a few years ago. And the photography that you see is the photography that they want you to see.

If you could look at their rejects, or look at what they were producing when they first picked up a camera, you would feel much more confident about your own development as a photographer.

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8 tips for better photography – Create a series of photographs

Part 6 of 8….If you engage with an environment that you are photographing…then why use the photography to create a narrative of some kind by using a series of photographs…

A single image can be great visually, but together in a series of images they can represent something, they can tell a story

Single images should be strong and should stand out on their own, all brash and confident!

If you engage with an environment or the people in the environment and you are creating strong individual images, then going through the images there will be a range of different photos of differing strengths that could provide a narrative for a place or people.

But a series doesn’t have to have a deep and meaningful message. Whatever it becomes it should be personal to you.

Doing this will also help you think about your photography and give you more ideas for future projects.

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