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Composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art, as distinct from the subject of a work. It can also be thought of as the organization of the elements of art according to the principles of art.

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If viewers don't respond to the rule of thirds, why do some photographers still emphasize it?

Previous posts (1, 2) explain the concept of the Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio. Some previous answers state that the Rule of Thirds is the Golden Ratio, but that is not true. The two are ...
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0answers
61 views

How can I light a park gazebo for a portrait session at noon? [closed]

The picture below is one of the places I am asked to do a fashion shoot for a model, and the time is between 11:00 AM and 3:00PM. I do have most ranges of lenses (from 14mm to 200mm), and powerful ...
5
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3answers
185 views

How can I compose city / cityscape shots to avoid distracting elements?

Too many of my travel photos look like this. The subject of the photo is obviously the church, but the random people and cars around it are quite annoying. The traffic light in front of the mosaic is ...
3
votes
3answers
491 views

How to break mental models when taking pictures?

I've started to learn photography and I start to appreciate what makes a good picture. One of the problems that I've noticed is how to look to the world. For me, taking a picture is a kind of tunnel ...
5
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4answers
871 views

My attention gets repeatedly distracted by the elements needed for the context in this picture. Where am I going wrong?

I am posting this photo as example but I suggest the answerers to remain generalized. I took this photo yesterday. Intension was to show the bonding between the father and the daughter as well as the ...
8
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4answers
269 views

How can I compose shots with tall buildings without boring sky dominating the image?

How to compose/frame shots with tall buildings without "just" sky? For example, Space Needle, Eiffel Tower, Hoover Building ... Most of my attempts result in lots of pixels of boring sky. Here is ...
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1answer
85 views

Can Still Life photography have framing?

Can a still life image have framing in it or is framing usually found in landscape photography?
8
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8answers
494 views

In which scenarios does it make sense to have the subject look straight into the camera?

I have often seen many people write critiques such as - Subject is not looking in the camera so I don't feel connected! on photos where the subject is not engaged in some particular activity ...
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4answers
2k views

What does it mean when something is “distracting”?

I asked for opinions on a photograph I took, and someone told me that an object in the background is "distracting". I wasn't sure exactly what this means, so I did some searching. I found many ...
5
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4answers
197 views

When can cropping off a part or including the whole subject's body be considered a distraction?

Basically the question is that when am I free to chop off the subject's body part and when I am not? These photos are taken by me. Can you see the chopped body parts here? I wish to understand the ...
3
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5answers
263 views

How to compose a scene when including the actual context isn't simply practical?

In the below photograph of mine the father and the child were watching the wall lizard in the room. It wasn't practical for me to include the lizard since it was far away on the roof. Moreover the ...
13
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2answers
793 views

When does “Fill the frame” become “Too tightly framed”?

Many times I have noticed people critiquing other people's pictures, saying either - "It is too tightly framed" or "you haven't filled the frame". Below are two photographs taken by me. I don't know ...
0
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1answer
146 views

What are some other terms for a 3/4 shot?

I know it as the American shot or American wide, but what are some other names?
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2answers
146 views

How to apply the Rule of Thirds with people?

If the subject of the photo is a mother beside her child who just graduated in a graduation ceremony, how would I be able to apply the rule of thirds?
5
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1answer
129 views

Is there a rule for something like “footroom”?

I'm familiar with headroom concept. Is there rule of thumb for "footroom" (how much space to leave beneath the subject)? I suppose the answer may differ depend on shooting style/purpose, so I limit ...
3
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3answers
476 views

Breaking composition rules [closed]

There are many articles in the internet about composition rules. And almost all of them says many masters sometimes break composition rules to make more appealing photographs. But the problem I face ...
5
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2answers
196 views

Is cropping out someone's ear a no-no in a portrait?

I know limbs have their compositional rules. I'm working on a self-portrait where I'm contemplatively looking left. To emphasize the effect, I want to crop my right ear off (hey, no Van Gough jokes!). ...
6
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1answer
205 views

Advice on shooting a magazine centerfold [closed]

Although, I shoot a lot of events, sports, and travel photography (fast pace photography as I call it), I just got my first "high glossy" magazine gig. It will be to shoot a subject in the foreground ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Is it better for a beginner to start with black and white photography?

I'm quite a beginner in photography with no real experience in visual art. I became interested in it about 10 months ago. I inferred from the literature to avoid color photography for 2 to 3 years, ...
5
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3answers
332 views

How can I make a picture like this one of a bridge in green landscape seem less plain?

Recently I have taken a photo of this bridge in Japan with my NEX-6. At first I thought it's an okay photo until I showed it to one of my friend and she said it looks plain. How can this photo be ...
6
votes
4answers
601 views

Stepping up my lighting for lego photography

I find lot of fun shooting pictures of toys, especially Lego bricks. To light my scenes, I'm using one or more of those elements : Natural light Canon 430 EX II Small torch LEDs torch Here is a ...
4
votes
7answers
418 views

How to show happiness in a playground without any human presence?

I don't have any humans to pose. I have a playground with a swing which rotates to and fro. I also have children's toys and clothes and shoes. I wish to create a scene which shows that a child "was" ...
3
votes
2answers
307 views

Composing great profile/cover images for social media

Are there any design/artistic 'rules' which could be effectively applied to help make social media profile images (like Facebook profile images/covers) more engaging and integrate well with the target ...
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3answers
214 views

How can I make successful abstract photographs?

I am trying to impress some of my friends, and also my teacher (who is a professional photographer). He asked us to take three frames to represent abstract photography. I have taken some shots and I ...
7
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3answers
833 views

Do Left and Right matter in how the photo is perceived?

Usually, when composing I choose if placing the subject on one side or the other depending on the subject itself, the background or other subjective or practical reasons. But abstracting out from ...
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2answers
152 views

How to shoot photo with the sun fully surrounding foreground subject

I saw this artwork for Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" song and it begged the question "How was that shot?" My guess is an extreme telephoto lens allowing the sun and the band to be visually compressed ...
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2answers
202 views

Is this a good example of “Rule of Thirds”? [duplicate]

I've been doing extensive research into photography, and I want to ensure that I understand the "Rule of Thirds" correctly. So my question, to all the experts out there, is, is this photo a good ...
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3answers
1k views

When should the negative space not be used to bring attention to a subject?

Considering http://photo.stackexchange.com/a/21378/5205 I tried to bring attention to this bud by leaving a lot of space on the right, but nearly everyone told me to crop that space off. ...
3
votes
3answers
131 views

How to compose outdoor group shoots to balance the subjects and the background?

I have been shooting landscapes mostly with my budget DSLR Canon EOS 1100D. I am tasked with taking photos on outdoor occasions now. I have no clue on how to shoot an individual/group in outdoors. Be ...
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5answers
2k views

How to photograph an adult and a child together such that the adult doesn't dominate the scene?

I have taken the following photographs myself in different frames of time. I have been told that in the below pictures, the man "dominates" the scene. How should I take these kind of photos such that ...
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3answers
207 views

How do I photograph a server room / datacenter floor in a unique way? [closed]

I have seen a lot of sys-admins and technical people who came here via StackOverflow or other Stackexchange sites and create stunning photography. I would like to get input on creative angles and ways ...
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1answer
69 views

How do I make sample photos for cameras/lenses? [duplicate]

If I want to compare different cameras or lenses, what properties should the photos that I use have? And what should I do in order to get the most information? I can think of the following, but ...
15
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4answers
2k views

Is it better to have light come from the left side?

In this comment to a question about composing landscape photographs, Esa Paulasto says About the direction of light, whenever you have a choice in it, have the light come from left side. I have ...
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votes
20answers
13k views

Why do breathtaking views turn into “boring” photos, and how can I do better?

I recently purchased a Canon 700D with a 18-135 IS lens to get into photography. I'm trying to improve, but my photos seem 'boring'. Let me give some examples: I took these today. The scenery ...
5
votes
2answers
283 views

How do I take advantage of a tablet to compose better photos?

I find that tablets have one big advantage over other kinds of cameras: phones, point-and-shoots, and interchangeable lens cameras (like the NEX-5R, which I own). And that advantage is the size of ...
1
vote
2answers
219 views

How to photograph a paper-boat in the river?

I have this idea of taking photo of a handmade boat and show it as it is waving in a river!... Here is a normal photo of the boat itself: My camera is a semi-professional Canon! Ideas about the ...
10
votes
3answers
709 views

How to photograph flat plastic in an “interesting” way to show off its properties?

At work we are currently in the process of photographing samples of materials. The idea is to photograph them to show their structure/properties more than their shape (i.e. if we have a steel cog, we ...
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6answers
13k views

How to make female chest look bigger?

When photographing women they often want the chest to appear as big as possible. I tried with light coming from different positions but was not satisfied with the results. Are there any tricks to ...
13
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6answers
2k views

What's wrong with portrait orientation?

When I first showed my photos to relatively wide audience online, several photographers commented about the amount of portrait-oriented shots. The essense was that I should take more ...
6
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4answers
637 views

How do I compose photos with prime lenses?

I own a Sony NEX-5R, with two prime lenses: 19mm F2.8 Sigma, and 35mm F1.8 Sony. How do I best compose photos with prime lenses like these? I can think of a few: Walk towards or away from the ...
2
votes
2answers
80 views

How can I use control over the aperture to take better photos?

I upgraded from a point-and-shoot to a Sony NEX a few months back. I think I've made substantial progress with regards to many aspects of photography like composition, the rule of thirds, ISO, ...
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2answers
121 views

Tips for shooting playing cards?

I would like to shoot playing cards (a deck of 60 cards and a big deck of 120 cards) and have questions regarding lighting and composition: What are good camera angles? Would you lay them flat on a ...
1
vote
1answer
276 views

What is a 50mm focal length good for on an APS-C camera?

This is on a Sony NEX, so the 35-mm equivalent focal length is 75mm. What kind of photography is this focal length good for? I shoot low-light, landscapes / cityscapes, and the typical vacation ...
5
votes
5answers
504 views

How to shoot for wide website hero image?

I'm an in-house web developer who is in charge of the technical aspect of a companies website. I have also dabbled in photography in the past, so I do have some photography knowledge. I am also the ...
10
votes
6answers
500 views

Why is the Rule of Thirds rarely followed in macro?

I've never (or rarely at least) seen a macro photo which follows the rule of thirds. Is it hard to compose macro photographs using the rule of thirds?
7
votes
2answers
739 views

Are there guidelines for using “Dutch angles”?

Some authors such as this and this suggest tilting the camera so that the horizon is not level, presumably adding interest to a photograph. Are there any guidelines for a beginner like me on when to ...
4
votes
3answers
185 views

Compositing portrait adult/child

I got asked to take pictures at my nephews birthday party (7 years old), more specifically portrait pictures of him and each family member. So this would be him and one adult (or one of his child ...
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6answers
863 views

How was this high-gloss achieved when taking photos of skyscrapers?

I found this picture in my folders (not sure where it originally came from but (C) Daniel Groszek ). How were the colours achieved here obtained? It looks like a black and white photo, plus blue ...
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3answers
217 views

Subject out of center — what is correct term?

Composition which consists of placing the topic or main subject to the side and never in center of the picture: does that technique have a name?
2
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3answers
371 views

Is there any software or phone camera app that can give advice about composition?

Is there any software/ phone camera app that can give advice about composition while shooting an image? Or would it be possible develop an app for that? For example, maybe giving advice about the ...