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Composition Photo Workshop by Blue Fier

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Chapter 1. UNDERSTANDING COMPOSITION

APPROACHES TO COMPOSITION

HOW YOU SEE

THE ORIGINS OF COMPOSITION

UNDERSTANDING LINEAR PERSPECTIVE

COMPOSITION AND PHOTOGRAPHY

Have you ever studied a snapshot and wondered why it looked amateurish compared to a photograph taken by a more experienced photographer? Even when the subject matter is the same — say, for example, that both photographs depict a shoreline — the difference between them is clear. The master's image is more captivating, more vital, more powerful than the snapshot. But why? What is it about the more skilled photographer's image that makes it so compelling? What is it about the skilled photographer's photograph that promotes it from a snapshot to a work of art?

Many factors can affect a photographic image. Lighting, for one, can greatly influence the outcome of a photographic shoot. So, too, can the camera's settings — the f-stop, shutter speed, and ISO. The quality of the camera's lenses can be a factor, as can the use of additional equipment such as a tripod and filters. But more than these is the photo's composition, that is, the arrangement of the elements within the image. Indeed, composition is the unifying element behind all visual art, from painting to photography and beyond.

Taking a snapshot is a simple matter of picking up a camera and photographing whatever is in front of you. Little, if any, thought process is involved. In contrast, when you compose a photograph, you consciously choose what visual elements to leave in ...

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