What is composition?

When you look at the word composition we see two smaller words.

“Com” and “Position”

aDSC_7435_LRCom is a Latin word meaning to put together. Position also comes from the Latin meaning the act of placing things together. So we looking at places we use the word composition we might talk about a musical composer putting the right notes, determining the  melody and harmony  as they create a piece of music.  An artist creates a painting by deciding on the compositional elements such a line, colour, texture and shape and how they might combine these elements into their art.

A photographer is a particular type of artist.

A photographer creates an image by looking at the subject and considers the light, colour, texture and other visual elements before deciding what elements they will use to ensure the story they are telling is clear to the viewer.

A key factor in composing an image is slowing down. Consider in your mind’s eye what you want the image to look like when published. Consider such questions “Will I take portrait or landscape” From what angle will I take the image? Where is the light and shadow? Where are the lines and how might I use them?

Throughout our lessons we covered a variety of composition rules and techniques. You will note that you do not need to restricted your images to one particular rule.

For example, a close up image may also include the framing rule or the use of lines. In fact combining the rules in one image may enhance it even further.

Although the term ‘compositional rules’ is used they are not strictly rules. They are more like guidelines, principles, techniques or even tools. You can break these rules however, it should always be a conscious decision to use or break the rule.