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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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Learning path for better lighting and composition [closed]

I have been a hobbyist photographer with my 5 year old Nikon D40 (18-55mm) until now. I do get occasional good shots, but most of them are not satisfying in terms of good lighting and composition. I ...
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2answers
2k views

What is a point of interest in a photograph and where is it lacking in this candle picture?

I've been told that this picture has no point of interest. Does this mean that there are too many elements in focus here? I would like to understand the meaning and the reasons behind it and how to ...
6
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4answers
1k views

What is the proper composition when shooting two persons standing by each another?

EDITED When shooting a photo with two persons in the foreground and an out of focus/blurred background (no objects apart of the couple), what is the proper composition to place them? EDITED I made ...
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3answers
1k views

Taking sports and action shots with regular lenses

I do not shoot action or sports photos. I was asked to shoot a friend's soccer game. I am not looking for perfect magazine quality images; however, I'd like to maximize the quality of my shots with ...
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5answers
4k views

Tricks for a good “jumping” picture?

Too many jumping pictures can be annoying, but I would like to once in a while be able to make a good one. Here is a bad one: What characteristics make a jump picture impressive? How to reach ...
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2answers
116 views

What should I look for in taking pictures of a historic prison?

I need some helpful advice for for an onsite shoot coming up. We are going to the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio. We are going to be there for almost an entire day. What I need is advice on ...
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1answer
461 views

How to make some nice photographs of midday sun? [closed]

Can i get some ideas on how to photograph midday sun to make it interesting? The fact why I ask this question is that photographing the midday sun alone gives a dumb photograph. Only idea that ...
7
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2answers
806 views

How can I make my beach shots more interesting?

I like to visit beaches on my vacation, so I always come back with shots of the shore and sand. They always turn out quite boring, and I'm not sure what they are missing generally speaking to really ...
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3answers
2k views

When taking a picture, where should the horizon be?

I know and understand the rule of thirds, but I would like to know, when taking a picture of something such as a tree, should the horizon be positioned on the top or bottom third line?
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2answers
1k views

How can I improve the composition of my food photos?

I am extremely new to food photography and blogging. I am trying to get on foodgawker.com to drive more traffic to my site, but they rejected this photo due to the composition being too tight. If ...
4
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4answers
3k views

When would one choose a 50mm f/1.4 over 85mm f/1.8 (or vice versa) for portraits?

Say you are using a crop body, and you have both 50mm/1.4 USM and 85mm/1.8 USM lens in your bag. Now, you want to take a portrait where there is adequate light and space, and you have decided to take ...
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5answers
817 views

How to make transparent liquid on white porcelain visible?

I made a picture for the cooking.SE blog: If you look very hard, in the middle, below the vanilla bean tip, is a small spill of synthetic vanilla essence (which is almost colorless, not dark like ...
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5answers
2k views

Can photographic composition rules be used in cinematography?

We all know that photographic composition has certain rules like the rule of thirds, diagonal lines, etc. I am wondering whether those same rules can be applied in cinematography. Can they? I ...
22
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5answers
1k views

How to capture the scale of a scene?

My framing in the following photo completely failed to capture the sheer height of the waterfall. If you don't know I was standing at the top of the waterfall, and the "splinters" at the bottom are ...
9
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8answers
501 views

How do I get myself to think about every shot using modern digital equipment?

In today's age of fully automated digital cameras, I find it difficult to seriously think about every picture I take before I press the shutter button. The experience is, from what I can tell, ...
8
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2answers
790 views

What and how to crop?

When I take a photo of something like a building, I tend to shoot the whole building, because later I want to get the feeling and impression I had when I took this photo. I want to transfer these ...
3
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1answer
653 views

How do you photograph sand dunes?

In 2010 I was lucky enough to visit Death Valley. While we were there we went to the sand dunes. I took this shot Its not how I remembered the scene, It seems as if a lot of the detail has been ...
5
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8answers
881 views

How to *make* a nature photograph?

I found this scene to be quite beautiful for sure, but when I look at it from the photographer's view point, I find that that person just went there, saw the scene, clicked the photo and returned home....
41
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3answers
7k views

What is the “Rule of Thirds”?

Please can someone explain the "Rule of Thirds"? What is it? What does it tell me? Why is it important? What can I do with it?
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4answers
414 views

How to compose a scene which doesn't have any apparent story?

On 1x people often say that to complete a story you need to have a third element. Fine, but what can you do when you don't have a human around to pose for you? How to compose the following scene so ...
3
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2answers
3k views

Why does the viewfinder of the Nikon D90 have a 4×4 grid instead of 3×3?

I was amazed that viewfinder of my camera has a 4 x 4 grid. Why is this? There's no 3 x 3 grid. Sad. What is the reason to did it so? Is it possible to fix it (upgrade software of camera)? What ...
4
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3answers
4k views

What is the “visual center” of an image?

I've heard that one of the tricks designers use for a more effective result is placing an object in the visual center. Where is the visual center in an image, why is it important, and how could it be ...
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4answers
435 views

How to show the theme “What happened??”

I wanted to show the theme "What happened??" here. I showed this to some non-photographers, they couldn't make out anything out of this. What can I do here to improve the composition?
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4answers
4k views

What is the 'Diagonal Method' and should I use it instead of 'The Rule of Thirds?'

I recently was in a discussion with a photography mentor who asserted that over the years he has composed most of his award-winning and/or 'most popular' photographs using the 'Diagonal Method,' and ...
4
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2answers
452 views

What would be examples of Principle of Alternation, other than chiaroscuro?

I watched this video of Online Art Academy about Design Principle of Alternation, where alternating light and dark is used to add rhythm, interest and vitality into composition. An obvious example of ...
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2answers
561 views

How to shoot water spilled on the floor?

I am planning a scene with water spilled on a floor or desk. The floor and desks have designs which will be distracting for my shot. I am thinking of placing a paper sheet as a back drop. Which ...
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2answers
944 views

What is a negative space in a photograph?

From here: http://1x.com/forum/photo-critique/31871 you have far too much negative space so the eye goes toward the back...of the picture, and there is not much to see there...either. What ...
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3answers
493 views

How to improve the composition flaw in this candle photograph?

From here: http://1x.com/forum/bookmarked/31716/critique-on-photo-untitled it's unbalanced. It almost looks like two images beside each other - one of the lying down candles and one of the upright ...
10
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6answers
752 views

What can I do to improve my composition on rejected food photos?

I have been working on improving my food photography skills to raise the overall look of my blog. I am shooting with a Sony A100 often a 50mm in natural light. I think I am doing pretty well so far ...
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2answers
270 views

Advice on composition and editing of the following picture [closed]

I'm new to photography (as in I just borrowed my first DSLR 2 days ago), I'm in the "read something new and go apply it in the field" phase. Yesterday walking home from work, I saw an interesting ...
8
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1answer
816 views

What is diagonal dominance?

In another question, rule of Diagonal Dominance was mentioned. I had never heard of such rule, so I'd like to know... What is rule of diagonal dominance about? How to apply it in photography? When ...
6
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5answers
677 views

Does a centered object get attention?

When I showed this photo to my friend he mentioned that the flower in the center of the photo got his attention. Although I placed it in the center of the photo, I believe that it's not the only main ...
11
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4answers
410 views

What are the key things that distinguish stock photography from other types?

What are the key features of stock photography that distinguishes it from other types of photography, or is there a fair amount of overlap between them (i.e. a good photograph can be fine art and ...
10
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4answers
774 views

What is the meaning of these Photodune reasons for rejection?

I wanted some advice, I am new to photography, I posted an image on Photodune for sale and it was rejected because of: Element or framing composition Noise, exposure, lighting or saturation ...
8
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3answers
3k views

What is the impact of high, low, or eye-level point of view in composition?

Of course there aren't any fixed rules in photography, but since part of photography is about sharing one's viewpoint, I'd like to hear how experienced photographers choose this key aspect of ...
6
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1answer
688 views

What style of composition for food photography triggers people's appetite?

What kind of style and position triggers more the appetite of people? What are the best ways to position food and combine with other objects? What kind of objects are better combined with food? Does ...
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1answer
382 views

Best tips for composition and learning composition? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Good books to learn photographic composition from? Can anyone suggest books/resources on the artistic side of photography? http://www.flickr.com/groups/visualstory/...
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4answers
1k views

How does histogram shape affect the aesthetics of a picture?

For having more contrast in an image, it's good to have a wide range (i.e. difference between highest and lowest) of light intensities in a picture; and for keeping details, neither highlights nor ...
9
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6answers
2k views

What should I consider for cropping aspect ratios?

The question What things should one take into account when looking at cropping a photo? asks about factors that affect composition during cropping. I'm interested in a very specific sub-set of this, ...
7
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7answers
604 views

Is technical perfection necessary for an artistically awe-inspiring photograph?

What is your feeling in front of an awe-inspiring photograph (with really good composition, light, color, depth of field, etc.) but with unsatisfactory technical qualities (for example: JPEG artefacts,...
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4answers
3k views

When is it OK to place the subject in the middle of a picture?

When is it OK to place the subject in the middle of a picture? I took this picture and feel very compelled to put the subject in the centre rather than on the sides.
8
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4answers
961 views

Which is better - autofocus and recompose vs. manual focus?

In some occasions autofocus doesn't focus what I intend it to. What is the better option - to use autofocus, focus what I want and recompose, or use manual focus in that situation?
13
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5answers
753 views

Where could I find a detailed reference on all composition rules?

I am looking for a good advanced reference about photographic/cinematographic composition rules. I have already checked this post: Good books to learn photographic composition from? but it doesn't ...
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4answers
810 views

How can I get people to take an expression which fits the scene?

I have heard that there are specific indirect questions that can be used to get people to be more natural in front of a camera. Many people, who have many expressions to offer, when put in front of a ...
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4answers
1k views

How do quirks of the human vision system affect photography?

When looking out at the world through our eyes, it's easy to take for granted that our perceptions are an absolute rendering of How Things Are. But in fact, it's not quite as simple as that. Most of ...
29
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6answers
6k 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
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6answers
12k 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 ...
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2answers
3k 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 ...
13
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6answers
18k 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
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3answers
537 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 ...