Focus on Composing Photos

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<ul><li><p>7/29/2019 Focus on Composing Photos</p><p> 1/152</p></li><li><p>7/29/2019 Focus on Composing Photos</p><p> 2/152</p><p>Focus OnComposing Photos</p></li><li><p>7/29/2019 Focus on Composing Photos</p><p> 3/152</p><p>The Focus On Series</p><p>Photography is all about the end result your photo. The Focus On series oers books</p><p>with essential inormation so you can get the best photos without spending thousands</p><p>o hours learning techniques or sotware skills. Each book ocuses on a specic area</p><p>o knowledge within photography, cutting through the oten conusing wafe o</p><p>photographic jargon to ocus solely on showing you what you need to do to capture</p><p>beautiul and dynamic shots every time you pick up your camera.</p><p>Titles in the Focus Onseries:</p></li><li><p>7/29/2019 Focus on Composing Photos</p><p> 4/152</p><p>Focus OnComposing Photos</p><p>Peter Ensenberger</p><p>AMSTERDAM BOSTON HEIDELBERG LONDON NEW YORK OXFORD PARIS</p><p>SAN DIEGO SAN FRANCISCO SINGAPORE SYDNEY TOKYO</p><p>Focal Press is an Imprint o Elsevier</p></li><li><p>7/29/2019 Focus on Composing Photos</p><p> 5/152</p><p>Focal Press is an imprint of Elsevier30 Corporate Drive, Suite 400, Burlington, MA 01803, USAThe Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, OX5 1GB, UK</p><p> 2011 Peter Ensenberger. Published by Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.</p><p>No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronicor mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system,without permission in writing from the publisher. Details on how to seek permission, furtherinformation about the Publishers permissions policies and our arrangements with organizations suchas the Copyright Clearance Center and the Copyright Licensing Agency, can be found at our</p><p>website: .</p><p>This book and the individual contributions contained in it are protected under copyright by thePublisher (other than as may be noted herein).</p><p>NoticesKnowledge and best practice in this eld are constantly changing. As new research and experiencebroaden our understanding, changes in research methods, professional practices, or medicaltreatment may become necessary.</p><p>Practitioners and researchers must always rely on their own experience and knowledge in evaluatingand using any information, methods, compounds, or experiments described herein. In using suchinformation or methods they should be mindful of their own safety and the safety of others, including</p><p>parties for whom they have a professional responsibility.To the fullest extent of the law, neither the Publisher nor the authors, contributors, or editors, assumeany liability for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability,negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions, orideas contained in the material herein.</p><p>Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataEnsenberger, Peter.</p><p>Focus on composing photos / Peter Ensenberger.p. cm.</p><p>Includes index.ISBN 978-0-240-81505-3</p><p>1. Composition (Photography) I. Title.TR179.E57 2011770.1dc22</p><p>2010048143British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data</p><p>A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.</p><p>ISBN: 978-0-240-81505-3</p><p>For information on all Focal Press publicationsvisit our website at</p><p>Printed in China</p><p>11 12 13 14 15 5 4 3 2 1</p><p>Typeset by: diacriTech, Chennai, India</p></li><li><p>7/29/2019 Focus on Composing Photos</p><p> 6/152</p><p>Dedication</p><p>To my parents, who probably didnt realize when theygave me my rst camera that they also gave me adirection in life.</p><p>Peter Ensenberger</p></li><li><p>7/29/2019 Focus on Composing Photos</p><p> 7/152</p><p>About the Author</p><p>Throughout his career, Peter Ensenberger has crossedphotographic boundaries to explore dierent styles anddiverse subjects. Ater studying fne art photography</p><p>in college, he went on to win awards as a staphotojournalist or several newspapers. More recently,he served 25 years as director o photography orArizona Highways, the award-winning nature and travelmagazine. His responsibilities or the magazine covered awide range o rolesphotographer, photo editor, writer,and project manager. Peter letArizona Highways in</p><p>2009 to devote ull time to his own photography business.Currently, he resides in Tempe, Arizona, where he is areelance photographer or Black Star, an international</p><p>photo agency based in New York. Corporate and editorialassignments make up the bulk o his work, with anemphasis on travel and liestyle. In addition, he leadsgroup and individual photo workshops to Arizonas mostbeautiul and remote locations.</p><p>Peter Ensenberger</p></li><li><p>7/29/2019 Focus on Composing Photos</p><p> 8/152</p><p>Acknowledgments</p><p>I wish to thank Valerie Geary, Stacey Walker, GrahamSmith, Laura Aberle, Kara Race-Moore, and all at FocalPress for their patience and guidance in sharpening both</p><p>thought and presentation. For shedding light along theway, much appreciation goes out to Derek Von Briesenand Scott Condray. And for her loving encouragement,</p><p>support, and advice in bringing this book into clearerfocus, I would like to give special thanks to my wife, Kim.</p><p>Peter Ensenberger</p></li><li><p>7/29/2019 Focus on Composing Photos</p><p> 9/152</p><p>Introduction vii</p><p>PhotograPhyisauniversallanguage capable o commu-nicating to a wide audience.But photography also is a verypersonal aair. No two o usapproach it exactly the sameway. You bring to bear yourown personal experiences and</p><p>infuences every time you pushthe cameras shutter-releasebutton. Each image captures amoment in time seen throughyour eyes, processed by your wayo seeing the world.</p><p>Thats the appeal o photographyas a orm o sel-expression.It allows each o us to artullyinterpret the world around us orcreate our own alternative reality.For many, its our principalcreative outlet, producing imagesthat can be easily shared withothers.</p><p>With the advent o digitaltechnology, photography has</p><p>grown into one o the mostpopular hobbies in the worldtoday. Its the most accessibleo all art orms. As a un andaordable pastime, photographytruly is the art o the masses.</p><p>Those committed to improvingtheir skills and techniques mayenjoy lielong partnershipswith their cameras, producingphotographs to be proud o.I youre persistent and willing topush yoursel to achieve lotiergoals, your images will begin</p><p>to reveal a personal style allyour own.</p><p>A good rst step in rening yourstyle is learning the undamentalso composition that have stoodthe test o time. Its worth notingthat many o the worlds greatphotographers had no ormalart training. They developedtheir visual sensibilities throughobservation and perception.Aspiring photographers shouldollow their lead.</p><p>Dening the artistry o compo-sition, photography pioneerEdward Weston cut straightto the heart o the matter</p><p>with an economy o words.Composition, he said, is thestrongest way o seeing.</p><p>All around us, the elements ocompositionobjects, lines,</p><p>shapes, colors, and shadowscoalesce in apparent disarray.By raising your awareness othe orderly way these elementst together, youll realizethe strongest way o seeing.Learning the basics o goodcomposition helps you recognize</p><p>the essential components anddesign artistic arrangementsrom the chaos. Youll producebetter photographs that combinebalance, simplicity, and style.</p><p>For anyone whose design skillsare not intuitive, practicingthe undamentals o goodcomposition will lead toinormed decisions. Its helpulto understand the reasonsbehind the so-called ruleso composition. Whetheryoure a beginning studento photography or someonewho has been working at itor a while, improving your</p><p>compositional skills will helpyou create photographs thatare visually pleasing and standup to critical scrutiny. Knowingthe basics allows you to quicklyrecognize the potential in any</p><p>Introduction</p></li><li><p>7/29/2019 Focus on Composing Photos</p><p> 10/152</p><p>Introductionviii</p><p>scene, design an aestheticallypleasing composition, andthen capture it the best waypossible. With a little practice andrepetition, applying the rules o</p><p>composition will become secondnature to you.</p><p>First, the rules o compositionare meant to create balance andvisual harmony in any work oart, be it a photograph, painting,or sculpture. Better photographscan result rom knowing the rules</p><p>o composition, and its okayto bend or even break the ruleswith good reason. Sometimesdisregarding the rules introducesdynamic tension to good eect.But its important to knowand practice the basics beoredeviating rom them.</p><p>Second, the purpose o goodcomposition is to orchestratethe viewers eye movement asit explores the image. Criticalplacement o compositionalelements eectively leadsthe eye into and through thescene, containing it within theboundaries o the rame and</p><p>eventually leading the viewerseye to the ocal pointthecompositions visual payo. Thelonger viewers are engaged bythe composition, the more o theimage they will see.</p><p>Another important basic step inevery photographers educationis learning to work with light.Composition and light go handin hand. The prominence and</p><p>placement o highlights andshadows become importantcompositional elements whenproperly incorporated in yourphotographs. Using the pre-vailing light to its best advantagein any situation will have animmediate positive impact onyour images. Making sure thatthe direction and quality othe light avors your subject issometimes more important thanthe subject itsel. Conversely,a poorly lit subject can ruinthe success o even the bestcomposition.</p><p>Much like the human brains let</p><p>(analytical) and right (intuitive)cerebral hemispheres, photo-graphy has opposable sidesthe technical and the creative.The technical side is restrictedby absolutes. For each desiredresult, there is a required action.I you need more depth o eld,</p><p>adjust the aperture. I you wanta lighter exposure, change theshutter speed. Understandingphotographys technical processis straightorward and can beeasily learned.</p><p>Rules governing the creativeside, on the other hand, areopen to interpretation. Theyserve more as guidelines thandoctrine, providing a ramework</p><p>within which we can evaluate theeectiveness o visual design.There are no absolutes that,when aithully executed, willguarantee a well-designedphotograph, and even a perectlycomposed image can be deadlydull i the story is boring. Yourcreativity is the X-actor inelevating your photographsabove the ho-hum.</p><p>Photographys greatest assetsare its abilities to visually commu-nicate ideas and to bring a height-ened awareness o beauty toour daily lives. When ideas andbeauty combine successully with</p><p>sound compositional techniques,a photograph can achieve thelevel o art.</p><p>Getting started</p><p>Youll need a ew essentialtools to get started. And withthe wide array o photographicequipment available, youvegot some important choices tomake. Those choices shouldtake into account your current</p></li><li><p>7/29/2019 Focus on Composing Photos</p><p> 11/152</p><p>Introduction ix</p><p>Critical placementof compositionalelements and using</p><p>the prevailinglight to its bestadvantage willhave an immediatepositive impact on</p><p>any image.</p><p>A zoom lens allows</p><p>you to easilyselect the bestperspective forany subject. Goodoptical quality isvital to capturing</p><p>sharp imagesrendered withaccurate color andcontrast.</p></li><li><p>7/29/2019 Focus on Composing Photos</p><p> 12/152</p><p>Introductionx</p><p>skill level and the level to whichyou aspire. Knowing this helpsyou select equipment youll becomortable using now, but italso allows room or growth.</p><p>Your equipments sophisticationlevel should increase right alongwith your improved technique.</p><p>Photography magazines andonline orums are saturatedwith acts and opinions aboutthe latest-and-greatest gearon the market, and user</p><p>reviews can be invaluable inmaking inormed choices onequipment you are consideringor purchase. But buying thenewest and best camera willnot necessarily result in betterimages. In short, camerasdont make good photographs;photographers make good</p><p>photographs.</p><p>You already possess the mostimportant piece o equipmentyoull need to become a betterphotographerits between yourears. Studies estimate that 80percent o the human brain iswired to process visual data. By</p><p>honing your visual-awarenessskills, you can train yoursel torecognize the potential in everyphotographic situation. And youdont even have to download thelatest rmware updates!</p><p>O course, the camera is theprimary tool youll be using. Itmakes sense to start with a airlybasic model oering intuitiveoperation and one- or two-step</p><p>controls with user-riendly menuunctions. Advanced equipmentwith complicated eatures canbecome an impediment to theimage-making process, so donteel like you need to spend a loto money on bells and whistles.The easier the thought processor your cameras operation,the more likely you are to besuccessul at it. And the moresuccess you have, the moreyoull enjoy your photographicexperiences.</p><p>In the beginning, set aside timeto use your camera every day,i possible. Read and reread</p><p>the users manual until you areable to operate all the camerasunctions without reerencingthe instructions. There areno shortcuts to learning yourcameras operation. Hands-onexperience is the best teacher.With repetition comes amiliaritywith your cameras unctions,allowing the image-makingprocess to become more fuid.Ultimately, the goal is to makethe camera an extension o you,operating almost automatically in</p><p>your hands. This rees your mindo technical concerns so you canconcentrate on the artistic side othe process.</p><p>The next tool youll need inyour equipment bag is a lens.I youre currently using a point-and-shoot camera with built-inlens, the choice has alreadybeen made or you. However,most digital single-lens-refex(DSLR) cameras allow orinterchangeable lenses. Zoom</p><p>lenses oer the most versatility,including eatures such as autoocus, ast aperture, close-ocus capability, and broadocal-length range. A zoomlens with coverage rangingrom wide angle to telephotoprovides the most options in onepackage. Zooms also are budget</p><p>riendly, with one lens takingthe place o several xed-ocal-length lenses.</p><p>Only the best optical glassshould come between you andyour subjects, so dont skimpon quality when purchasing alens. Good optical quality is</p><p>vital to capturing sharp imagesrendered with accurate colorand contrast. Optics can varywidely among lenses and brandnames, so a little research is</p></li><li><p>7/29/2019 Focus on Composing Photos</p><p> 13/152</p><p>Introduction xi</p><p>well worth the time invested inselecting the proper lens or yourneeds. Buying the best lens youcan aord will help ensure goodimage resolution.</p><p>Another tool essential to imagesharpness is a sturdy tripod.Mounting the camera on asolid base prevents cameramovement during exposureand helps maintain sharpedges on your subjects. Itsdicult or even the steadiest</p><p>o hands to hold the cameraperectly still at shutter speedso 1/60 o a second or slower.Photographers who pay extraor the sharpest lenses and thenhandhold their cameras maynegate the advantages o buyingexpensive glass.</p><p>Tripods, like lenses, call orquality. Beware o cheap, fimsytripods with weak leg joints. They</p><p>dont provide proper stability orstand up to...</p></li></ul>


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