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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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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 ...
6
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4answers
962 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
votes
3answers
284 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
431 views

How do I create a sense of power and splendor in an image?

I'm trying to take that convey strong emotional feelings, and I would like to know whether there is any particular color scheme or type of picture that would convey a feeling of power and/or splendor. ...
4
votes
7answers
355 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" ...
6
votes
4answers
532 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
257 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 ...
41
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
12
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6answers
1k 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 ...
41
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15answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
960 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
330 views

Incorporating haze into landscapes

When shooting landscapes in Western India, I often have a serious problem with haze. The air can often be dusty outside cities and polluted inside. Shooting in the golden hour doesn't always help ...
1
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3answers
161 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
votes
3answers
331 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
1k 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. ...
0
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2answers
127 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
178 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 ...
71
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20answers
12k 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
107 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 ...
12
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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. ...
9
votes
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 ...
37
votes
4answers
4k views

How can I get photos showing the “shaft of light” effect?

I would like to be able to capture a photo which shows light shafts coming through the window. A famous example is this: I'm guessing this involves a tripod, a long exposure and strong sunlight, ...
0
votes
3answers
167 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 ...
1
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1answer
63 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
218 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 ...
58
votes
6answers
12k 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 ...
53
votes
9answers
39k 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 ...
1
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2answers
166 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
447 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I use a 6x4 grid in the viewfinder?

The new Canon 5D Mark III allow you to activate a 6x4 grid in the viewfinder. Does anyone know the use of such a grid (instead of a more classic 3x3) for composition, besides obvious ...
4
votes
4answers
478 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
77 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, ...
6
votes
6answers
719 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 ...
0
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2answers
107 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
511 views

Why the Curiosity pictures are shown tilted?

This one is the last photo that the rover took this week: Why the picture is shown tilted? Why NASA does not rotate it and show it in the correct angle?
1
vote
1answer
175 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
390 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 ...
32
votes
6answers
3k views

Why take diagonal photos?

In the "old days" I sometimes composed my photos diagonally, but I've not had success doing that in the "modern" era, because there's not really any nice way to present it digitally. Is there a ...
7
votes
2answers
558 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
422 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?
2
votes
3answers
205 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?
1
vote
2answers
263 views

How do I compose an image for use as a browser background or wallpaper on a widescreen monitor?

I want to use some of my images for the background of a web page in my browser and for computer desktop wallpaper on my widescreen notebook. When I use a (landscape oriented) picture as is (in a ...
4
votes
3answers
175 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
222 views

Subject alongside, at the intersection or inside lines in composition rules?

I have been reading different articles on photo composition. These discuss rules of thirds, triangles, and golden ratio, each suggesting different and contradicting approaches. Some of them say to ...
3
votes
3answers
669 views

What is a good composition style for photographs like these?

In my photography classes and online resources, I have learned about photographing the subject with a space to breathe in the photograph. But there are several photos in which the head is facing bit ...
9
votes
3answers
418 views

How to capture fog movement?

As much as I enjoy pictures of fog or mist, I find that I can't express its movement. I'd like to capture the sort of dance that fog performs with other objects. The way it moves and surrounds ...
1
vote
3answers
338 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
210 views

strong colour photo compositions [closed]

How do you take photographs with strong colour compositions? I have a canon 60D and Im a learner. Do you have any tips / best practices you could share? I would like to take pictures like the ones on ...
4
votes
3answers
592 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
821 views

Rule of thirds — is there any scientific proof behind it?

I learned about rule of thirds only recently, and it excited me a lot, and it seems to apply to a lot of situations. But my question is why does it make pictures look more appealing? Does it have ...