Chapter 4. COMPOSING NATURE PHOTOGRAPHS

Principles of Photographic Design

Essential Techniques

Elements of Design

Tone and Color

Creating a Dynamic Photograph

Guidelines for Composing Better Nature Photos

A good nature photograph doesn't happen by accident. Your best images will be made with clear intention and deliberate design. Photographic design is mostly about composition — how the elements are arranged within the frame. But composition itself can be broken down into many distinct parts, and when making a photograph you need to be aware and in control of everything that ends up in the frame. And beyond the initial choices of what to leave in and what to leave out comes the creative use of the camera to fulfill your vision.

This chapter introduces the essential principles behind good photographic design and teaches you how to use the building blocks of composition to put together the strongest images possible in any situation. Later chapters explain how to apply these fundamentals of design while working in the field.

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