O'Reilly logo

Composition Digital Field Guide by Alan Hess

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 14. Creative Composition

This chapter is going to cover a variety of different composition tips and situations, from looking for and photographing patterns and textures, to dealing with shapes and black-and-white photography, as well as abstract images where it is really difficult to apply the regular rules. As with every image you compose, it is up to you, as the photographer, to decide what stays and what goes, and while that is easier to do with the standard guidelines, at times it is fun and rewarding to break the rules.

Creative Composition

The pattern created on this wall is actually two staircases going in two directions. Because the sun was high overhead, there were no long shadows and no depth to the image, but the pattern created by the edge of the stairs was interesting. Taken at ISO 200, f/7.1, and 1/1250 second.

Patterns

Patterns are areas that are made up of repeating objects, shapes, or even colors. Patterns can be difficult to photograph because if they are too regular, they may seem boring and stagnant. As a result, the viewer's eye moves over the image very quickly and does not linger on any part for too long — not exactly what you want. Look for both man-made and natural patterns; if you start to look closely, you will see that there are patterns everywhere and those patterns bring order to an otherwise chaotic scene.

  • Regular pattern. A pattern is created when you see ordered rows ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required