UNDERSTANDING THE ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
ARRANGING DESIGN ELEMENTS IN THE FRAME
THE RULE OF THIRDS
THE GOLDEN RECTANGLE
Whether or not you've ever attempted to learn a new language, you know that in order to become fluent, you must understand both the language's grammatical structure and its vocabulary. Becoming a fluent photographer is no different. In order to master the language of photography, to effectively convey a thought visually, you must understand the grammar and vocabulary of the craft. The elements of design — points, lines, planes, and solids — represent photography's primary building blocks. They are the words of the photographic language. The ways in which the elements of design are arranged within the picture represent composition, photography's grammar. In this chapter, you learn how to arrange the elements of design in the picture for maximum impact.
Notice in figure 2-1 how the large expanse of wet sand acts as a mirror, providing reflections to further enhance the composition. To obtain the largest expanse of wet sand and great reflections, coordinate your shot with low tide at dusk. Check the tide tables to find out when low tide will occur.
Although the elements of design can yield an infinite variety of compositions, not all of those compositions prove effective. Precisely which elements you use, and how you arrange those elements, greatly affects your ability to tell the story of what is happening ...