Spring 2012

Spring 2012
by ani

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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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11
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6answers
1k views

When are people or cars in photos not the subject?

I have a photo of a parking lot in overcast, rainy conditions. I personally consider my subject or theme to be the state of the weather and the condition of the quality of the humid air. A friend ...
22
votes
9answers
2k views

What can I do to take better/more interesting photographs of tabletop games?

I do a lot of writing about tabletop games, some of it paid, professional work. Often, editors ask that I also supply photographs of the games in play to illustrate the articles. I know very little ...
2
votes
3answers
135 views

How to make use of the light wind blowing in the garden which doesn't allow the flowers to remain still?

I have the 60mm macro lens which I am unable to use, ever, because of the light wind blowing in the garden which doesn't allow the flowers to remain still. I am thinking is there a way by which I can ...
11
votes
3answers
611 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, I'...
4
votes
5answers
140 views

How to improve the composition of the scene depicting time's effect on age?

This is what I have tried: Have used a vintage watch to depict old times, extremely dry leaves, and somewhat fresh flowers. Intention was to show increasing age with time. I have kept watch out ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Indoor timelapse photo

Have a big mess in a room and want to make a timelapse video of the room cleanup, watching the mess disappear and room getting cleaned. The mess is really big so it will take several X-hour sessions ...
11
votes
2answers
606 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 ...
84
votes
21answers
14k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
139 views

How to improve wide-angle composition in travel photography to make it more dynamic?

I love taking wide-angle photos of people with my ultra-wide angle zoom lens on my travels (11-16mm Tokina) as I get to closely interact with my subjects. I try to shoot photos where there is some ...
1
vote
1answer
626 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?
9
votes
2answers
244 views

How to use the Fibonacci spiral to create better photos?

How do I use the golden ratio/the fibonacci spiral to create better photos? What should be where? As I understand it, the main focus should be where the spiral gets smaller. But what about other ...
13
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
82 views

How to create shadows and highlights on a subject during photo manipulation in Photoshop?

What is the best method to create shadows (darken) and highlights (brighten) on a subject to match the lighting of new background image during photo manipulation in Photoshop?
19
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
286 views

How to show great heights and depths without the road dividing the picture into two halves?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bolivia_Yunga_Road.jpg Here I could notice great height and depth because the road and the vehicles were placed in the center of the picture. Therefore they were ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

Composition for Ken Burns Effect

I have an assignment to shoot architectural, wildlife, and landscape stills for a video production team who wants to present them using some variation of the Ken Burns effect. I am concerned that ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

Is there a way to display golden ratio and the rule of thirds on a Canon DSLR?

There is not much talk about the Golden Ratio in the web, and all of them are almost the same. I have a Canon 1200D, and I was mostly interested to learn more about this, and specifically, to be able ...
62
votes
9answers
58k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

General rules when compression in the background looks good (like with longer focal lengths)?

Is there any general set of rules or guidelines on when would the background compression generated by a long focal length look good in a picture? Example : in a headshot, I really like the background ...
5
votes
5answers
502 views

Cropping images in post-production - how important is the image ratio?

On some photos, I have some parts that I want to remove, as it was not possible to be removed while shooting. For example, consider this composition: wall - tree - center wall (photo subject) - tree -...
32
votes
9answers
9k views

Why do people like square photos?

Cameras used to make rectangle photos all the time, but now I see as a trend square photos. Is that because of mobile phone screens, or is it something else?
2
votes
2answers
109 views

What are different composition techniques for landscape photography?

I like to shoot landscapes. Generally rule of third's is preferred while shooting. What are some other composition techniques that will improve photographing landscapes???
23
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I best pose myself for a headshot self-portrait?

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
233 views

Why are mystery and ambiguity valued in art photography when they're not positive in normal life?

This question is based on following observations and quotes In engineering, and in most part of human life, ambiguity and mystery is not a good thing. In art photography, mystery is very important ...
7
votes
1answer
858 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

How to achieve simplification in composition?

Simplification is a great tool for creating photographs with artistic quality – it stays away from unnecessary/obvious things and helps the image not to be “busy”. I was searching various blogs and ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

How can I control figure-to-ground composition when I can't stage the whole scene?

Figure-to-Ground is something caught my attention recently in a video "Bridging the Gap: Classical Art Designed for Photographers". This technique makes photos really readbale – and clearly tells what ...
13
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

How to decide the colour combinations while setting up still life objects?

Let's assume I have bottles of different colours. I want to make a still life photograph with them. How should I decide which colours go well with others? Example - should blue bottle be placed next ...
7
votes
8answers
3k views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
348 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
963 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
246 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
585 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
255 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
277 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
343 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 ...
8
votes
8answers
601 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 ...
-2
votes
7answers
606 views

How do I make a landscape photo containing many important elements feel well composed?

On the question "Does this sunrise photograph have a problem with white balance?", there is a comment by Rob: I know this Q is not asking for image critique and although I like the image I think ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

Can Still Life photography have framing?

Can a still life image have framing in it or is framing usually found in landscape photography?
15
votes
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
votes
4answers
246 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 ...
43
votes
16answers
5k views

Can anyone suggest books/resources on the artistic side of photography?

I am a relatively new photographer. I have no problem understanding the technical side of photography (I am an engineer by trade), but I do struggle with the more 'artistic' side of photography (...
4
votes
2answers
634 views

Why are the Curiosity pictures shown tilted?

This one is the last photo that the Mars rover took this week: Why is the picture shown tilted? Why doesn't NASA rotate it and show it in the correct angle?
2
votes
2answers
188 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?
6
votes
1answer
176 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
votes
3answers
530 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
votes
2answers
228 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!). ...