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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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6answers
937 views

When do you center your subject in environmental portraits?

When I shoot environmental portraits, I usually place my subject off center. However, I've seen instances where the photographer has intentionally centered their subject. Here is an example: ...
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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 ...
8
votes
2answers
774 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
864 views

What is the best way to accurately position camera parallel to subject?

I'm having a hard time getting my lens to perfectly align parallel to the subject. This is very important when photographing subjects such as buildings or interiors. Do I just need to practice seeing ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

When should I break the rule of thirds?

When photographers talk about the rule of thirds, they say sometimes they will break the rule and still the photo will have great composition. When should I stick with the rule of thirds and when ...
7
votes
1answer
788 views

What are the “Distance Setting Marks” for use in storytelling composition?

I am reading Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson, to learn some bits and tricks about photography. I came across one line "You would first choose to set your aperture to f/22 and than align the ...
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1answer
380 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? ...
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 ...
11
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1answer
550 views

Is there a name for the type of portrait composition where the subject is looking out of the frame?

I'm wondering if there's a specific term to describe a portrait where the main subject is looking at something outside the frame that we (the viewer) can't see. I like it as a composition technique: I ...
8
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3answers
2k 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 ...
19
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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.
13
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4answers
12k views

How can I improve my photographs taken on overcast or cloudy days?

I'm interested in filters, flash & lighting options, composition, and post processing. Is it possible to get really vibrant colors or should I give up on that and focus on dreary, muted, or black ...
6
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1answer
681 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
596 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
751 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

What are connotations of horizontal and vertical lines in composition?

From my question on diagonal dominance I learned that diagonals are used in many subtle ways, like guiding viewer's eye, expressing depth or energy. How do horizontal and vertical lines affect ...
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6answers
5k 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 ...
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vote
2answers
265 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 ...
11
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4answers
402 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 ...
12
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6answers
10k 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
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
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vote
6answers
237 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 ...
9
votes
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, ...
10
votes
3answers
577 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, ...
16
votes
4answers
999 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
562 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, ...
16
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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 ...
24
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
785 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 ...
16
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5answers
584 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 ...
32
votes
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: ...
24
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3answers
5k 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?
25
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5answers
2k views

How to create an eye-path?

Reading about photography, I have now and then stumbled on recommendations to "create a path for viewer's eye", or to "lead it through the picture" without any specific guidelines how to achieve that. ...
15
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2answers
1k 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 ...
46
votes
2answers
17k views

What is the Rule of Odds?

In furthering my reading on photographic composition I came across a compositional technique called the "Rule of Odds." What is the "Rule of Odds"? Why is it important? How do I apply it to my ...
26
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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 ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
14
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1answer
325 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: ...
4
votes
3answers
670 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 ...
30
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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 ...
8
votes
4answers
914 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?
0
votes
1answer
891 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
336 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
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4answers
965 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 ...
59
votes
9answers
55k views

What is the 'Golden Ratio' and why is it better than the 'Rule of Thirds?'

Somebody recently told me that I will be able to compose more pleasing pictures if I use the Golden Ratio instead of the Rule of Thirds, and that the Rule of Thirds was an inferior way to compose ...
13
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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 ...
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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 ...
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6answers
922 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: ...
17
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3answers
525 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 ...