How to get the best photos…..Composition

04th July 2012

For those of you who have done my basic training course you will know that I ask you to think about four elements when taking photographs - composition being one of them.

Beyond the basic "rules" of composition, a key component is taking the time and making the effort to capture the very best that is on offer from what is in front of you. This may entail how you frame the shot and the detail you leave out as much as the detail you put in. Basically you should avoid the shot where you just walk up to a scene and shoot. Instead you need to "work" the scene i.e. walk around it, change perspective, get closer perhaps or concentrate on how you place the key components in the photograph within the viewfinder. Taking multiple shots and hoping for the best is not a good strategy, even though you may, occasionally, get lucky. But bear in mind the advice of Arnold Palmer who said: "The more I practice, the luckier I get".

In the photograph above I could see that the rock formation in the foreground would create good "lead in lines" (often a key compositional tool to draw the viewer into the shot). I wanted the balance to be one-third sky and two-thirds water and land. Also I knew that the position of the boat was important and I tried to place on (or near) an intersection for a 3 by 3 grid:

The post editing work then pulled out the detail and character in the sky to produce a balanced shot. But why that is important is for another day……..

If you would like to learn more about improving your photography, have a look at the Training section of this site to see what I offer. To go there, just CLICK HERE

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