Camera and photographer making the once in a lifetime photo

Camera Composition in Art Photography

Monday, August 15, 2011
I have written a few times in my tutorial blog posts that a photographer should look at good art and photography. The camera is a tool that makes the three dimensional world into a two dimensional photo. Looking at good art is pleasing but the experienced artists have experimented with the use of compositional tools. The tools of line, shape and tone are time honored ways of creating a two dimensional photo.

When ever you look at great photo, the planned compositional elements should become instantly obvious if you know what to look for.The following photograph is an example of line, tone, shape and texture.

The subject matter, shoes, are an age old subject of artistic fascination. Apart from a discussion on the subject of shoes as an art object or whether this photo achieved High Art status, the composition can be separated into certain pieces.

There are three tonal areas which also create a shape. The carpet, the shoes and the yellow fabric on the top. The shoes are obviously the subject because of their placement, tone and contrasting line to the other shapes. The texture of the carpet sets it apart from the shoes as well as the fabric. Both the fabric and the carpet have a pattern associated with it that are similar but also different. The subject is set apart from this pattern with the looping shoe laces and wavy reflection off the patent leather. Some may say that the shoes should not be so centered in the frame. I didn't want to create tension through compositional placement so I kept the subject neutral in the center.

The difference with good to great art and snapshot photos are not so much what TYPE of camera took the photo (that is a totally different discussion) but how the photographer aligned the elements in the frame. Painters sketch out many different compositional ideas in an effort to highlight the subject in order to create an emotional response. Photography is no different. The big difference is the amount of time a photographer might have to capture the subject. Sometimes it is a split second before the conditions change. Other times, like the above photo which was taken during a wedding day and meant for a wedding album, I had only a few minutes before moving on to another subject.

Look at a photography book and start to pick out the three art elements of composition discussed in the tutorial. Then, for kicks, just to see the difference, look at photos on Facebook or a photo posting site and see how many compositional elements are present in those images. If you look at those snapshots long enough, they all look the same and your mind gets numb. They become just another picture that does not inspire any emotional response in the viewer. The subject may be of interest but it is masked, hidden somewhere in all of the uncoordinated compositional elements. Hurry, hurry back to good art photography and never look at amateur photos again (unless they are of your loved ones of course). Learn from the masters who have found artistic love within the camera composition.


Post a Comment


Copyright © Davids Camera Craft All Rights Reserved • Design by Dzignine