All of us take pictures for a variety of reasons. Many use DSLR cameras and many use their cell phone cameras. I, in fact, use both. I use both for different reasons and for different purposes and outcomes.
At the end of the day, I think we take pictures to not only capture the moment but also to communicate and otherwise share that moment or scene and communicate it to someone else.
Where Do I Start?
The trick and the frustration all at the same time for most all of us is that just because something looks really cool, or beautiful in real life at that moment, it doesn't mean that you can just point whatever camera your using at it and end up with a good picture.
Taking a shot and ending up with a picture or composition of what you saw is quite unlike what you saw with your eyeball! The human eye alone has great peripheral vision… and since your head is also on a swivel, what you can take in with your eyes is immensely greater than any camera lens can capture!
Think for a moment that with photography you're going to first look through your viewfinder (that is bounded by a frame) at what you want to capture and ultimately end up with a picture that is bounded by a frame. What you're after (hopefully) with your capture is that the person who looks at your end result (within that frame) recognizes and understands what it is that you are showing them or trying to communicate to them.
The viewer's success at accomplishing this is vastly based on how you chose to compose the image within the frame of your camera.
There's Gotta Be More To Good Composition In Photography…
But here's the real rub… good composition in photography is so much more that just choosing how you're going to fit the world before you into that rectangular frame of your viewfinder!
Good composition in photography is the art of getting tones and forms to fit withing the frame in a way that guides one's eye to the attention of your subject in the frame. If your composition is good, the subject will will easily be identifiable. In a not so good composition the viewer's eye will wander aimlessly around the image.
The eye wandering around the image will ultimately have the viewer wandering what it is they are supposed to look at… not good!
Conversely, a good composition in photography may also even reveal something about the scene that the viewer might not of otherwise picked up on. Perhaps patterns, tones, leading lines, the play of lighting. When this is accomplished the photograph emits a sense of feeling about the particular moment of the shot.
Sometimes the right composition just jumps out at you… but many times it can be tough. So often when I'm out I'll look at a beautiful scene and know that “there is a great composition in this view somewhere” but I struggle to find it. Sometimes I do eventually, and sometimes I think that I have only to see the end result and… meh.
The good news is that since you've read this far you're already further along. At least I've got you thinking about what you're framing and not just haphazardly shooting!
Getting Better At Composing Your Shot Has Benefits –
As you improve your skills in the art of composition in photography, not only will your casual everyday shots start looking better, but you'll find that there are compositional moments all around you in the world!
Objects and scenes that you once may have not given a second thought to will now become interesting to you as your brain begins to think about how that might look through the eye of the camera!
And this is the power of composition. So get out there and practice with your camera… any camera!
Don't Forget To