Composition is the most important aspect of artistic photography. Composition is the art of placing various elements of an image in the most harmonious way that meets the creative intent of the author and allows him to convey his thoughts and feelings to the viewer to the fullest extent.
The gaze of a person looking at a scene is far from chaotic. First of all, he tries to cover the most significant elements that attract his attention, in descending order of their attractiveness, then runs around the entire available field of view, assessing the relationship between important objects, and almost without dwelling on insignificant details, and then returns to the semantic center. This scan takes a few seconds, and is repeated many times with some variations in the trajectory of the eye movement as more information about the scene enters the brain. Your task as an artist is to take this process under your control, forcing the viewer’s gaze to move through the image in a predictable way, following your idea, lingering on plot-significant objects in the sequence that is dictated by your vision of the scene. The eye should return to the compositional center again and again, and not run away from the edge of the frame, so that the viewer does not have a thought to look away from your photo.
Most Amateur photographers do not pay enough attention to the composition, and in any case, they pay much less attention to it than to the choice of equipment. Weak composition leads to the fact that when you look at the picture, it is difficult to understand what exactly the author wanted to show us – what is important in the picture, and what is secondary, what the photographer placed in it intentionally, and what got into the frame by his oversight. If I didn’t deign to take the trouble to think about all this while composing the frame, how can I expect the viewer to think for me? If I don’t know what my picture is about, how can the viewer know it? Your photos are often the only bridge between you and the viewer, allowing you to share your feelings about the scene depicted in the photo. The carelessness of the photographer in relation to the shooting generates the carelessness of the viewer in relation to the pictures. If you want attention to your work, be careful when creating it.
A good Protocol picture of the ruins of Buchach castle. Not bad, but nothing more. How do I make it more interesting?
Buchach castle. Strong composition.
I saw these ruins, grass, and sky as a combination of intersecting colored triangles. Laconism and abstraction made the image expressive.
Harmony in simplicity
The key to a strong composition is simplicity. Try to exclude from the frame everything that does not relate to the main idea of your picture. At the same time, you can make sure that there is an idea there. Remove all unnecessary things, everything that does not improve the composition, and you will only have those elements that will allow you to convey your idea to the viewer. If there is nothing left, you will at least save some space on the memory card, which is also good.
Hare tracks. The diagonal composition.
Have you seen a hare?
The viewer’s eye should not wander through the photo, looking for what is important and what is not. Leave him no choice. Bright, contrasting objects attract the eye, so if they are important, place them relative to each other in the most beautiful way, if not, remove them from the frame without pity, because they will only distract attention from the main idea.
Don’t think about small things at the frame layout stage. If your equipment is working properly, and your hands are not shaking, the parts will not go away from you. No one is interested in the sharpness of your image if its composition is weak. You should simplify the frame as much as possible and achieve a harmonious, balanced arrangement of its key elements. The photo should attract the eye even from a distance, even in the form of a tiny sketch. If it is not interesting in the form of an icon, no one will bother looking at it in full size. Why bother with the details? Yes, details are important, but only when the composition is perfect.
When composing a future frame, abstract from specific objects – at this point, it is not important for you what you are shooting, but how you depict it. Look not at the objects, but at the connection, the relationship between them. Try to think with simple geometric shapes, colored spots, and lines. Sharp corners, straight lines, bright colors, and high contrast increase the intensity of the composition. On the contrary, smooth curves and pastel colors are soothing.
Abstract, geometric composition
The balance of the composition is achieved by balancing the right and left parts of the image. The simplest variant of balance is symmetry. However, an asymmetric balance is not only possible, but often looks much more interesting and dynamic. A balanced composition evokes a sense of peace, an unbalanced one is more than acceptable if you want to show movement, mutiny. This composition requires more skill, but it is also much more dramatic.
Remember that most people in Western culture read from left to right. In the same way, the view moves over the photo in question, and you can use this for your own purposes by placing the elements of the composition in the appropriate order. Diagonal lines running from the lower left corner to the upper right are perceived as ascending, and from the upper left to the lower right-as descending. Use them to direct the viewer’s gaze to the semantic center of the image.
Try by any means to highlight the most important thing in the frame. Use tonal and color contrast, placing light objects on a dark background, and dark objects on a light background, contrasting warm and cold colors, emphasizing the difference in shape and texture of different items.
If the subject allows for a small depth of field, use this by focusing the lens on the semantic center and leaving secondary objects blurred. Sharper areas of the image always attract the eye.