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Whether you’re feeling artistic or not, good composition is important for making images that resonate with viewers. Everything else being equal, poor composition can create an itch in a viewer—a subconscious and annoying one that can’t be scratched.
Composition in photography refers to the arrangement of elements in an image. Those elements can be subjects, foreground, background, and props. They can also be color, focus, and balance.
It can be a difficult concept to grasp which is why people invented “the rule of thirds.” Here’s what Wikipedia says about the Rule:
The rule of thirds is a compositional rule of thumb in photography and other visual arts such as painting and design. The rule states that an image can be divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines. The four points formed by the intersections of these lines can be used to align features in the photograph. Proponents of this technique claim that aligning a photograph with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the photo than simply centering the feature would. — The Rule of Thirds, Wikipedia
The theory is that aligning your subject along one of the lines or at an intersection makes a stronger composition. Let’s see how that works out in the example below:
Amy of Shooting the Kids has been taking her camera with her everywhere while working on her Year in Pictures project.
The New York Times has an interesting piece about Kevin Rivoli’s project photographing the life that Rockwell depicted.
Toonyphotos.com offers some free software that lets you easily give your photographs a cartoon-like appearance (similar to the movie A Scanner Darkly). Windows/Linux.
Slightly Out of Focus shows us a neat lamp from IKEA that provides a ton of creative lighting options.
Looking for online storage and backup? ADrive offers 50GB of storage for free.
Finally, a success story about a photographer who won $19,462 in a somewhat bizarre copyright infringement case.
My D70, like most digital cameras, has a USB port that allows me to connect it to my computer and download photos. Many cameras also allow you to control them using your computer when they are connected. This is called tethered shooting. You click the shutter and a few seconds later the photo is displayed in all its glory on your big screen monitor. This can come in extremely handy in studio situations. It’s a great trick for quickly checking that you’re capturing the shots you want without squinting at a 2 or 3 inch LCD.
On a lark it occurred to me to do something goofy with my camera (more on that in a minute). On the way to crazy town I came up with a way to do basic tethered shooting on Linux.
Maybe not all of them and maybe not intentionally (in some cases) but, more or less, almost every photograph is a lie of sorts. I’m not even talking about post-processing. We portray what we want the world to see. Each one is a view of the world from the photographer’s viewpoint. The only photos I can think of that might be totally honest are documentary and clinical in nature like, perhaps, crime scene photos. But I even wonder about those.