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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Photography Composition

As artists, our ultimate goal is to tell an engaging visual story through photography. The ability to accomplish this goal is dependent on the way we orchestrate our canvases. This is what composition is all about: it’s the process of visually organizing essential elements of an image through the deliberate framing of your camera. Composition anchors the human eye and enables photographers to direct the eyeballs of their viewers. In other words, the way our visual artistry is anesthetically received is dependant on how a scene is organized, framed and composed. This is why composition is a crucial ingredient to creating captivating photographs. 

When many people think of composition, the first thing that pops into their head is “rules”:  The rule of thirds, the rule of balance, etc. But in reality, there are no hard and fast ways of getting your images “right.” Instead, the knowledge of certain techniques and the use of personal discretion is really the rule at play here.  Rather than a strategy set in stone, think of composition as a set of guidelines and suggestions.
Framing- Framing has to do with the way you contain all the elements you wish to capture within your canvas. Essentially, good framing includes just the key elements of your image while omitting objects that detract from the larger picture. Keeping your horizons perfectly straight is a fundamental framing strategy that most should observe. Another important part of framing is finding the best location. This can mean getting closer to your subject, finding a unique perspective or zeroing in on a specific component of your shot (through lens selection). Additionally, experiment with the idea of frames within a frame.
Chase Guttman

Victor Jorgensen
Alfred Eisentaedt
   Perspective- The angle at which you portray a scene can dramatically impact its effectiveness. There is no better demonstration of the importance of perspective than the story of Victor Jorgensen. Victor’s name is relatively unknown, yet he snapped the shutter at the same time, and only a few feet from Alfred Eisenstaedt, the man accredited for the iconic V-J day image. Alfred’s image became well known and was widely published, while Victor’s photograph did not. The main reason was because Victor photographed the kissing couple from the side, capturing an unrecognizable backdrop. Eisentaedt on the other hand, caught the essence of the location, by shooting straight at the couple and allowing for a view down the avenue to Times Square. 

Peter Guttman

“Rule” of Thirds- The rule of thirds is based on the idea of a photo being divided into three imaginary horizontal and vertical sectors. By placing a subject along the lines of these sectors, you create more alluring imagery because it creates visual intrigue, as the eye naturally is drawn to one of the sections. You can read more about it here.
Peter Guttman

Filling the Frame- When shooting portraits, filling the frame can be a great tool for better compositions. This is because it allows your viewer to develop a more intimate connection with your subject. For ideal composition, negative space (which is an empty visual region) should be used artistically. However, when negative space becomes superfluous you begin wasting valuable image "real estate."
Chase Guttman

Balance- To create a balance photograph, your image should have strong points of interest, or focal points (this could be attractive color, pleasing lighting, an interesting subject, etc.), on both sides. Experiment with the interplay of light and color to help ensure balance on both sides of the frame. The end result is a equally pleasing photograph on both sides of the frame.
Chase Guttman

Spacing- On the contrary to the idea of filling the frame, spacing can be effective too. It can help you highlight the elements crucial to your story and create a type of separation between your subject and your viewer.
Peter Guttman

Repetition- You can use patterns in two unique ways: either keeping a pattern consistent or undermining a pattern by putting something out of place. The ultimate goal with patterns is to trick the eye into seeing more than what is really present inducing an imaginative feel (for this, using a telephoto lens can be helpful). In some cases, patterns can serve as a visual line from the foreground to the background, exciting the eye to inspect every inch of the composition. On the other hand, having an out of place item in the middle of an otherwise consistent pattern adds contrast and interest to your image.
Chase Guttman

Symmetry- Symmetry is often an effective method of composing your image because it awes the eye (by making the eye wander all across an image, which is pleasing to the mind of your viewer). Symmetry also can echo your scene, giving emphasis to the story you're trying to tell.
Peter Guttman

Leading Lines- Using naturally occurring converging, diagonal, horizontal, and vertical lines in your photographs makes for an interesting composition. Lines direct (or lead) traffic for your viewers' eye. This helps your viewer focus on the key points of the image and can also add an amusing component to your shot.
Chase Guttman

 Simplicity- Simplistic framing can often times be the most artistic way to shoot, because when concentrating on basic elements your story can be told successfully without any other distractions. To best accomplish this you must have plainly colored backdrops (generally, black is the best), and subjects that strongly contrast with the clean background. Depth of field can also come into play here.
Peter Guttman

Texture- Texture is the incorporation of a unique surface to an image. Texture helps your images come alive, causing a two-dimensional photograph to have a three-dimensional look by adding a sense of depth- a dimension that is otherwise not seen in photography. Texture makes your viewer feel like they are there, which promotes sensory exploration.
Peter Guttman

What Are The Main Things That Should Affect My Composition?

-Color- Rich and vibrant colors have the power to fortifying the impact of your image and grab your viewer emotionally. This relates to composition because the positioning of color deeply influences the appeal of your focal point(s).

-Lighting- Lighting can help highlight important components of your image and make your story more visually engaging. Essentially, lighting should direct where you position yourself and the frame (because optimal lighting can add a great appeal to your imagery).

-Backgrounds- Backgrounds should influence the way in which you frame your photographs or utilize depth of field. Backdrops can accomplish one of two main things: they can either perpetuate the importance of your subject or add a sense of place to your story.

In conclusion, composition is one of the most essential, but multi-faceted parts of photography. By understanding what effects composition (color, lighting, backgrounds, etc.) and the various techniques involved in it, you can be on your way to better photography. But remember, while these ideas can be quite helpful, sticking to your gut is usually the best way to go.


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Are you feeling that it's time to get gaming? Do you have snacks, friends and a new game at the ready? Have you connected to your worthy opponents online? Stop now! Read the following article first so you can learn how to get all you can from your gaming experience.

Learn the Metacritic score of any computer game you're thinking about buying prior to purchasing it. Some games are not fun at all, therefore they are cheap. This means you've wasted your money in such a purchase. The game's score will help you make the right choice.

Watch your body when you play computer games. If you are playing video games, try sitting on a exercise ball to help you maintain proper posture. Also, be sure and take regular breaks and stretch every so often.

You may want to make an area in the basement or set aside a room for your kids to play their video games. Computer Games can be extremely loud, and you probably want some peace from time to time. A game room can have a lot of benefits for your family.

Spend quality time with your children by taking on a online game that you both enjoy. Many kids really enjoy playing games on their computers and video consoles. There is a lot to learn from playing video games. You can find games that are educational to teach them as well as help them learn the skill of hand-eye coordination.

In order to understand and guide your child's use of online games, you must be involved. Spend some time playing the game and watching your child play. Ask them questions to show that you are interested. The best experience to have is a hands-on one!

With a game that's fairly popular it can be tempting to buy everything out there for it like expansions and upgrades right when you begin playing. This can be expensive! Try maintaining discipline. Wait until you have played through the game before purchasing additional content.

Supervise your child if he or she plays online computer games. While most of these games are rated by the ESRB, some also warn that in-game situations can change, falling into unrated territory. Many games offer chat features and customization options for characters and equippable items. When you take the time to monitor the online game play, you can ensure that your child is interacting in an environment that you are comfortable with.

When someone wants to purchase a gaming system, there are plenty of choices. Be sure to research and read reviews before deciding which system you prefer. It is important to know if the company carries a majority of titles that your family will enjoy. When you have chosen a system, look at how much memory this system has. There are many download options for most games and this content can fill a hard drive quickly. To make sure, buy a system that has enough memory.

All games have ratings thanks to the ESRB. Games are appropriate for ages 3 and older if they receive an EC or Early Childhood rating. If your children are six and older, a rating of E is appropriate. A rating of E+10 is for people older than 10 years old. If your game is rated T, it is suggested that you be 13 or older to play it. "M" (mature) rated games are for people who are at least 17 years old. AO indicates the game is just for adults and RP signifies "Rating Pending."

Figure out how to operate the safety and parental controls of any gaming system that comes into your home. You can likely make adjustments that keep kids from viewing mature content. Some allow each gaming profile to be customized separately, allowing adults to enjoy games not meant for younger audiences.

Almost everyone plays online games today. By following this article's advice, you can maximize your enjoyment from your computer games. Be sure to have fun when playing.

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Chase Guttman is a talented and passionate, award-winning photographer having shot everything from landscapes to wildlife to portraits and events all around the world. Chase Guttman is also an affordable NYC assignment photographer, ready to fulfill your photographic wishes with his distinct style and attention to detail. He also runs this popular photography tips and guide blog, with weekly insights into photography that helps everyone from amateurs to pros better their photographic skill. Visit us at our website:

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