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Canon® Speedlite System Digital Field Guide, 2nd Edition by Brian McLernon

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Appendix B. Rules of Composition

By this time, I sincerely hope you have a better understanding about photographic lighting in general and your Canon Speedlites in particular. Ideally, you have learned how to begin lighting your subjects and scenes in new and more visually interesting ways. Yet the perfect lighting setup will only get you so far; you also need to consider some rules of good image composition. Granted, rules is a pretty strong word for creative types to use, so I prefer to think of them simply as visual guidelines for more well-constructed images.

At first, these concepts might seem strange and uncomfortable, like holding your camera in a different way or composing scenes through a new lens, and you may struggle a bit with applying these rules to your style of photography. Just know that these are the foundations that your best shots will be built upon, and a conscious working knowledge of them is essential to creating more dynamic, compelling images.

Consider these concepts to be tools and techniques that you turn to when a situation or location is not working or has been exhausted photographically. Mentally going through the list of ideas presented here can often yield new ways of looking at camera angles, lens choices, and the like. After all, you can always be on the lookout for ways to expand your style of photography.

Keep It Simple

Keeping your compositions simple is probably the easiest, yet most important, rule in creating powerful, memorable images. Studies ...

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