While waiting for a few new lenses, I’ve been reading up on a few notes taken from the SWPP convention 2014. My goal this year is to improve my skills in photography and practice extensively with my new Leica lenses, creating that beautiful oil painting effect.

Here is what they said about photographic composition:

1. Simplify the scene: Move in close. Use silhouettes and shapes. Place your subject where you are drawn to it.
2. Filling the frame: What drawn you in the first place? Fill the frame to make the image larger OR go closer. The viewer is lead up the steps with their eyes.
3. Difference in perspective: Try using wide angel, fish eye etc. Make it more dynamic. Do a project. Think out of the box. Move (Up high, down, move around).
4. Leading lines: Makes it easier for the viewer. Lines will lead you on a journey around the frame. Can create a converging effect pulling in and leading straight to the point of focus.
5. Use diagonals: Some examples include steps, stairs etc. Gives a sense of movement or force. Move angels to tilt to strengthen diagonals. Wide angel lenses creates it automatically.
6. Shapes: See shapes within shapes. Squares? Circles? Triangles? Two dimensional element to the picture. Shapes makes the viewer identify the object differently. With shapes you can achieve greater emphasis. Shade adds emotional content and lead in by the eye. Try tungsten blue effect.
7. Backgrounds: Wide aperture and tele zoom. Elements such as woods make backgrounds interesting. Do I need to remove the background? Is it part of the story?
8. Creative colours: Bright primary colours really attract the eye. (example: blur and yellow are known as complimentary colours producing vivid elements). Use of single hue can be effective. Framing is important.
9. Avoiding the middle: Rule of thirds. It is boring with people in the middle.
10. Breaking the rules: Pass on a specific message. Learn and understand composition and break the rules on purpose. Make a statement like a visual language.

In order to move forward it’s always great to study some prominent photographers. Here are a few examples:

Masters of compositions

In order to become a better photographer, I’m planning to study a few a handful of interesting photographers. A few examples of great photographers seen as masters of composition include Margrethe Mather (triangle belly), Margaret Bourke White, Henri Cartier Bresson, Andre Kertesz and Chema Madoz. Some more modern masters of composition include Scott Kelby, Tim Flach (animals), Tim Walker (blue hue), Gordon McGowan and Sam Vasani (both do weddings) and Miss Aniela (surreal fashion).

Analyse pictures you like

Why do they work? Is it a common theme? Note why they work! Pre visit location and visit the best viewpoints before a shoot. Find out the optimal time of day for lighting. Look out for interesting features such as shape, colour etc. Visit art galleries to get inspiration.

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