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by Russell McMahon

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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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26
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6answers
3k views

How do I keep the horizon straight when taking a photo (without a tripod)?

I use a DSLR and I very often find that when I shoot without a tripod, and with my eye to the viewfinder (as opposed to using LiveView), my photos end up slightly crooked: lines that should be ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the best approch to photographing a mirror or other highly reflective surface?

I have been asked by a client to take some product photographs of some vintage mirrors that they would like to sell and I am struggling with getting good clear shots of the mirrors. As such, what is ...
2
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2answers
1k views

How should I position my lighting for photographing books?

This is my setup for photographing books: .. but I have issues with glossy books and magazines. I need help understanding the best place to position the lights so it covers the entire cradle (120 ...
1
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3answers
181 views

Is there a Clippy for Photography?

I have a Nikon D90 with a 18-55mm lens and a 55-200mm f/4-5.6G lens. What I am looking for is a website that can help me learn about how to best use my camera, something like "Hello, I see you are ...
11
votes
6answers
5k views

What are the advantages of shooting a particular aspect ratio?

My camera can shoot in 4 different aspect ratios (4:3, 3:2, 16:9, and 1:1). Aside from personal preference of composition are there any advantages to choosing one over the other? Is there an industry ...
17
votes
3answers
450 views

What things should one take into account when looking at cropping a photo?

When looking at cropping a photo: How do you decide whether to crop it or not (for starters)? What things should you take into account - both practical and artistic? I guess that this question is ...
10
votes
3answers
515 views

What are other popular composition techniques in addition to The Rule of Thirds?

I always hear a lot about The Rule of Thirds. I'd like to know more about other 'tried-and-true' composition techniques (not special effects) that can make a photo more interesting. In particular, ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

In what situations should I use which lenses while traveling to Paris?

I'll be travelling to Paris and I'll be bringing me with a Canon T2i/550D, a Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3,5-5,6 IS and a Tokina 11-16mm f/2,8 (I could also bring a Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II). I bought the ...
22
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3answers
2k views

What makes a strong wide-angle composition?

A simple, effective way to improve most compositions is to crop (or zoom) more tightly. Cut out the "distractions", and boom, powerful composition. I usually shoot with a slightly-long lens in the ...
6
votes
5answers
417 views

How should I position my camera to emphasize the foreground using a wide/ultra-wide angle lens?

I have seen plenty of landscape shots online and in books that have enthralling foreground and awesome background. At many places, I have read to get close to the foreground. I understand that, ...
13
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5answers
520 views

How can I make interesting photographs of interesting things found on the streets?

I was walking through streets of San Francisco and found this interesting advertisement: The subject is obviously interesting, but the image here is very straightforward and feels comparatively ...
23
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3answers
3k views

What is Lead Room?

Continuing to educate about basic compositional techniques, What is "Lead Room?" Why is it important to consider Lead Room when taking pictures? When do I apply it to my photography?
32
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3answers
1k views

How can I show a slope? Even mountain roads appear flat in my photos

During a bicycle trip, I wanted to take a pic to show how sharp the slope was (about 20%). The same applies downhill. See below, the viewer can't really tell whether it is downhill or flat or uphill: ...
12
votes
2answers
611 views

What is headroom as it relates to photographic composition?

With photographic composition I often hear people talk about 'leaving enough headroom' for portrait photographs. What is headroom? How can I properly apply it to my photographs? What are the ...
26
votes
2answers
1k views

What is Bakker's Saddle?

I was perusing a book called "Success in Print Competition for Professional Photographers" and one section referred to a composition technique called Bakker's Saddle. Three related questions: What ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is one (single) point perspective photography?

Single point perspective is a technique used in drawing. Using one perspective, parallel lines converge to one point somewhere in the distance. This point is called the vanishing point (VP). This ...
4
votes
3answers
636 views

Why would one recompose after setting exposure?

I am reading Bryan Peterson's book Understanding Exposure. Quoting text from the book: I set up my camera and 75-300mm lens on a tripod. I set my focal length to 130mm and aperture to f/32 and ...
14
votes
1answer
241 views

How to plan the composition of astrophotography?

I want to shoot the Milky Way, some constellations, and planets. I want to include some natural landscapes in these photos, similar to these: ...
0
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1answer
820 views

The best single photography book start point from the artistic point of view? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Books/resources on the artistic side of photograpy? Okay. There are lots of books out there that are eager to tell people what is exposure, f-stops and talk about all ...
9
votes
6answers
318 views

Aside from sharpness & speed, what are the benefits to photo composition\optical quality provided by premium lenses over their cheaper counterpart?

I have gone through quite a few lens reviews and questions on this site that recommend expensive lenses over their cheaper counterparts. From what I've seen in the reviews, there is a marked ...
13
votes
4answers
755 views

Why doesn't auto-focus work with an all-white subject (like a wall)?

I am trying to compose a shot using my Nikon D60 and 18-55mm lens towards a white wall in a auto-focus mode. It looks like I am not able to take the photo. I feel the camera is not able to find any ...
13
votes
6answers
790 views

What are the main things to avoid in photographic composition?

Considering only the frame and it's content, putting the issues of color rendering, sharpness, exposition, brightness, contrast, optical aberration, unpleasant flash/noise aside. I think of: ...
20
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4answers
4k views

Tips for taking headshot self-portraits?

I need to do some headshots of myself for a gig I have coming up. My initial thought was to use a plain light background (as you see in many studio shots), but I've had some advice to use a dark ...
13
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0answers
652 views

Good books to learn photographic composition from?

One of the tough things to learn in photographie is composition. What good books (or other sources) can you recommend to learn and hone your compositional skills?