Thoughts on Composition with a Purpose

Insights & Thoughts July 9th 2013 12:29 AM No Comments

It is easy to take a picture, as we all well know it only takes the press of the shutter release. But taking a truly awe inspiring photo takes practice, not with exposure or camera settings (Though those are important), but with having an eye for good composition.

This is something that I have struggled with myself, specifically with nature and landscape photography where the subject is not so easily defined. I recently came across this great blog post over on Digital Photography School in which John Davenport talks about thinking about composition first rather than last. Its a great read, you can find it here.

The rest of this post I am going to share with you my thoughts on composition with a purpose, how to improve your shots by just tweaking your composition a little. A great example of this is actually from the post that I linked above. You see in the first image the shot is OK, but nothing special. The second shot though is much more visually appealing, has lots more impact and all the photographer did was move a little to the left.

Composed-With-Purpose-2-600x400 Composed-With-Purpose-600x400

I am not big on following rules of composition, I am more of a fan of Composition with a purpose. Basically this means instead of worrying about the rule of thirds or some other composition rule, simply compose your shot with thought to how it will be received.

What do you want to be the focal point of the image? Is it interesting on its own, if not how can you frame your shot to give it some interest? These are all things that you should be thinking about when you are composing your photographs. Just subtle changes in composition, be it moving to the left, or getting down low or up high, can make or break a photo. If you are looking for ways to improve your photography this is a good place to start.

What are your thoughts on composition with a purpose vs sticking to rules of composition to the letter? Let us know in a comment below!

[Via Digital Photography School]
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Anthony Thurston

About

Anthony Thurston is a portrait and sports photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area as well as a senior writer here at SLR Lounge. You can check out some of his work on his Website. You may also connect with him via Email, Google Plus, or Facebook.

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