VOXTIP#8 ….COMPOSITION, THE MAGIC THREE

Are you beginning to see a pattern here – this is the third time the number 3 has figured in composition – weird huh!

This week I want you to consider three elements that can make the difference between a bland photo and an image which is worthy of the viewer’s attention. They are, putting it simply, ‘form’, ‘texture’ and ‘colour’ – or in the case of monochrome, ‘shades of black & white’.

By ‘form’ I mean the shape and structure of components within the image – interesting shapes, strong shapes; shapes that bring a contrast into the composition. Repetition of shapes, regular shapes, unusual shapes all add interest in the right context. It wont always be possible but, when composing your image, do look for them and, if you think it’s right, find a way to include them and/or emphasise them.

Take a look at these:




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each of these images shows the impact of strong ‘forms’ or shapes

The texture of components also adds an interesting dimension to an image. ‘Smooth’ contrasting with ‘rough’; patterns in surfaces; reflections; character brought about by weathering – all serve to make an image less two dimensional and give it depth. Corroded metal surfaces; weathered wood; rocks; vegetation; tree bark; clouds; water, etc.,  all offer opportunities to introduce different textures into your photos.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we have colour, or shades of black & white, with which to enhance our photos. Ultimately, of course, you are dependent on which colours are present and what light is available (together with what photo enhancing software you use) – light and software are subjects we will touch upon later.

Lets keep it simple – think about what colours you can see in your subject matter and how you can best use them. Not all photographs need to ‘SHOUT’ at you with lots of bright, strong colours – sometimes they look great but sometimes just one or perhaps two small, brightly coloured elements are more effective. Sometimes an image looks more interesting when it just ‘whispers’ with muted colours. It all really depends on what kind of atmosphere you are trying to create, what story you are trying to tell and what emotions you are trying to evoke in the viewer.




Blocks of colour or vivid contrasting colours can be a powerful tool in creating striking images.
However, it is important to appreciate that this tool is not lost when creating monochrome (black and white) images – indeed, in the right context, it can be even more dramatic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, lets look at a bunch of images which illustrate some of the points made above. You decide whether they use form, texture, colour or combinations. Which works best for you?






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While mentioning light, don’t feel you need bright sunshine to take good photographs. Bright sunlight actually creates many problems – soft, muted light creates excellent opportunities for the photographer – traditionally dawn and dusk are considered ideal times. Light, of course, is central to photography and at a later date I will explain how to deal with specific light conditions but, for now don’t be put off – try to work with what you have – it’s all about learning.

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget to post your photos, comments and questions on VOXTIPS WINDOW:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/voxtipswindow

“I wish you good shooting.”

Next Friday we’ll be looking at ”Don’t follow the herd – be one of the 10%.”

 

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