Photo Composition

Photo Composition

This is a discussion on Photo Composition within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I see such wonderful pictures posted here and on other forums and I would like to be able to make better contributions to photo related ...

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  1. #1
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    Photo Composition

    I see such wonderful pictures posted here and on other forums and I would like to be able to make better contributions to photo related threads. I don't have aspirations to be a great Photog or anything. I would just like to be able to take a nice picture!

    I can see what I want to do in my mind's eye but can never seem to get it to look as nice as my vision.

    Here's my latest example.


    The initial, envisioned composition was all the gear arrayed on the belt, but I just couldn't get it to stand the way I wanted it to. I took a dozen versions of this shot from different angles with different lighting and flash settings. I varied the layout and back grounds several times. Even though this is the best of the bunch, it just falls far short of what I wanted.

    My gear isn't high end but it's not a cell phone camera. A middle of the road Canon digital. I don't have any fancy lighting fixtures but I know enough to use indirect lighting to avoid glare. The one thing that I know I did wrong here is that I did not dig out a tripod. This was taken from the hand, which accounts for the lack of sharp, detailed focus. That is really not what I am talking about. It's the set up. The artistic side of it, not the technical details.

    Any help or is this just a case of an engineer not being able to find the Art.
    Last edited by luvmy40; April 7th, 2013 at 06:53 PM.
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  2. #2
    Member Array RookWV's Avatar
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    Not that I know very much either, most of my photos tend to be of landscapes which the "art" part is already done for me.

    Think of the lines and where your eyes go and how they get there, in the above pic my eyes tend to be drawn towards the center of the belt but the gun and knife throw off the flow. The para cord hanging off in the upper left does the same thing.

    Working the Lines in your Photography

    How to Use Lines in Photography Compositions ? PictureCorrect


    My normal plan is to snap enough pictures from different angles and minor adjustments that eventually I get one that is pretty decent.

    I'm another one of those engineer's not able to find the art :)
    Concealed means hidden from ordinary observation so as to prevent disclosure or recognition. A deadly weapon is concealed when it is carried on or about the person in such a manner that another person in the ordinary course of events would not be placed on notice that the weapon was being carried.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the links and critique. I'll keep an eye on those blogs.

    I like this one a little more than the first. But it's still lacking something. I don't know, maybe it is in the technical details, the shadows and highlights as much as the layout?

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  4. #4
    Member Array RookWV's Avatar
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    Looks better IMHO....maybe try a different angle to shoot from instead of top down or turn the camera diagonal.

    And you can use a simple editor like Google's Picasa or Microsoft's Photo Editor to add some feel to your pics.

    Here's some of my attempts (used Picasa for tweaking)
    QeYWoRS.jpg
    jmU4WGN.jpg
    Concealed means hidden from ordinary observation so as to prevent disclosure or recognition. A deadly weapon is concealed when it is carried on or about the person in such a manner that another person in the ordinary course of events would not be placed on notice that the weapon was being carried.

  5. #5
    Member Array virg's Avatar
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    keep all the objects on the same focus plane as possible, that way u can use a high fstop number and usually get a nice sharp photo..... also u can arrange the objects however and shoot straight down at 90 degrees and get a really sharp picture..

  6. #6
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    Nice gear! In the top picture, the knife in the front and the gun are facing away from each other. Switch their positions so gun is to the left and the knife to the right. Now you've got a shallow V or parallel lines instead of a big teepee shape with a hole in between. Right now, everything is on the same plane, which while it makes it easy on your depth of field, sometimes it makes every item look equal to each other when you have lots of items, preventing your eye from going to a dominant item first and then flowing around the picture from one to the next. Set your gear up on a table, rearrange while checking the composition through your viewfinder. Set the camera up on a table or tripod. If you want everything sharp, set the camera up a few feet away, have a longer lens or zoom in, and get a good depth of field (high f-stop number). If you want one particular item in sharp focus and the rest to blur out, set your camera up closer and use a shorter depth of field (low f-stop number). You can use additional light sources or even a white piece of poster board to reflect light back into the composition.
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  7. #7
    Member Array jblitz's Avatar
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    ^^^^ This ^^^^ but I would also try the belt buckle in the 6:00 position instead of off to one side.
    I Shoot Birds With A Canon.

  8. #8
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    I am no photographer !!!!!!!!

    The Green and the red do not do a lot for each other.

    Does the folder get clipped to the belt or is it carried in a pocket?

    Try the light up in a corner turned on and shining on the rest of the gear.

    Try the belt layed out left to right the whole belt does not need to be in the photo your mind will fill in the rest of the belt

    Then I would try a photo of how it is on my waiste and then just throw it down and see what it looks like

    I would try a little less to look at. The gun and mag make sense the light and knife but all together they look like an awful lot.

    Just a thought and I repeat I am no photographer.

  9. #9
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    The pic was for a thread of "Your EDC Rig" and while I don't always carry the spare mag or the Scrapivore, I do carry it all fairly regularly. I wound up posting it in a "Light and Knife" thread instead.

    I originally wanted everything on the belt(except the folder which is carried in the strong side front pocket. I loaded it all on the belt and buckled it then tried to arranged it in a visually appealing manner. Yeah right. I never thought about laying it out flat with the belt loaded. I may give that try later.

    I like the idea of the light shining on everything also.
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  10. #10
    Member Array RookWV's Avatar
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    Concealed means hidden from ordinary observation so as to prevent disclosure or recognition. A deadly weapon is concealed when it is carried on or about the person in such a manner that another person in the ordinary course of events would not be placed on notice that the weapon was being carried.

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