Search for...
Stay on Board
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust
Follow us on...
« Symmetrical Composition Tip | Main | The case for cropping »

Composition Tip

When I am looking for a way to compose an image, I consider a number of elements, and I'll use this image to go through my process.

I saw this lovely early winter morning scene, and realized there was a great opportunity to use the warmth of the lights inside the building to balance the coolness of the dawn light.

My first consideration was how to create a sense of depth to the image.  Traditional landscape photography uses the time honored approach of foreground, middle ground and background to create that depth.  So I positioned myself so there were some plants up close to the camera.  The middle ground includes the large tree on the right and the building.  And the background trees, because of the falling snow, recede in the image.  Look at the difference between the picture below, with no real foreground interest, and the image on top.


Next, I thought about the weighting of the image.  Where I placed the large tree on the right was important, as it anchors the photograph because of its mass.  I used the rule of thirds to place the bottom of the tree pretty close to the lowest intersection of the grid (See more information about the concept in the archives here).   That gives the viewer's eye space to move into the picture from the bottom between the plants and up into the midground.

Next, I wanted to add an element to show scale.  People walking to the bus, or walking their dogs were perfect for this.  They not only added the scale, but also helped tell the story of it being a cold snowy morning.

Finally, and for me, quite important is deciding on where I want the person to be.  If I placed the person in front of the building, they were bound to disappear in the confusion of details.  

Looking at the scene carefully, there was a large gap on the right side where, because of the chiaroscuro effect,   a person would certainly stand out.

And looking at the scene again with the rule of thirds in mind, putting the person in that gap balanced the weight of the tree on the right.

There's always a lot to think about when composing an image.  Take your time, and enjoy the process.  And wear good gloves.

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: write custom essay
    What a beautiful weather it is. It is snow everywhere. The scene is really awesome. I can realize a beauty of this weather from a picture also. All the buildings are covered with snow. A cup of coffee will charms the weather too. I like to touch snow or to do ...

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>