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zig-123 Oct 27, 2009 7:10 PM

Guidelines to better composition
A while back, Harj was kind enough to post this link to a Kodak site which explains, offers tips, and suggestions on how to improve photographic composition. I've kept it all this time and when I find myself getting lazy, I usually refer to it.

It's basic, but get's me to start thinking again about how to compose a photograph rather than to take a 'snapshot'.

I thought with all the new people visiting this forum it might just be of interest.


turbines Oct 28, 2009 12:59 PM

There's a lot of other real good stuff on the Kodak site too. Thanks for the link. It's always good to review.

Composition can certainly make or break a picture and it is too easy to just to point & shoot. Even when everything else is technically correct a good composition will make any picture more interesting. In the past I have used a piece of cardboard with a frame matching the camera's aspect ratio cut in it to preview various compositions The frame can be moved in or out to somewhat simulate wide and telephoto shots. This can also aid in deciding whether to shoot horizontally, vertically, high or low. If you are shooting landscapes or still life photos from a tripod, just park your camera and view the scene through the frame from several different perspectives before you decide to shoot. This technique always makes be think a little more before I grab the camera and shoot.

zig-123 Oct 28, 2009 3:50 PM

glad you found it an interesting read. And, thanks for the tip on how you frame a landscape shot.

Obviously, one of the benefits of digital cameras is that you can fire away at anything and everything you see and hope that somethiing good will come out of it. If you get no keepers, it's a matter of hitting the delete button. All of this has cost you nothing.

Shooting with film was a different matter, where each frame cost money for the film, developing and prints. If you wanted to continue with the hobby, you quickly started to plan what you were going to do prior to taking the shot. Heck , you actually started to plan how, what , and with what equipment before you left the house.

As much as I like to think that I always plan on what I'm going to do, prior to taking the shot, I'm guilty of just jumping in and firing away at times.

So, it's good to get back to basics sometimes. (just not with film) grin.......


turbines Oct 29, 2009 10:33 AM

Very easy to get real lazy with digital. There are times when I still miss film and the smell of hypo on my fingers

Greg Chappell Oct 29, 2009 11:01 AM

It is very easy to shoot, shoot and shoot some more with digital, but I like that. I have no doubt one learning photography today with the digital instant ability to see what you shot can learn more in one year or less than it took me in 5 years of shooting film and trying later to remember what the heck I did to get something to look like what it did, especially with color negative film where a lab could/can butcher whatever you did to try and render a scene a certain way. I never was one to take notes and be able to know exactly what I did in any one exposure more than a day or two after I pressed the shutter release.

I have an old Zeiss folding Contessa I keep that I had serviced a few years ago and I pull it out every so often and run the controls to keep it exercised, but have not bought a roll of film since around 2004, have no plans to anytime soon and don't miss it or any other part of the whole film process one bit.

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