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Friday, December 21, 2018

What Is Composition In Photography?

Photography isn’t just a technical pastime; it’s an art. While it’s important to understand how to control your camera, it should be so you can capture the kind of photos you want, rather than so you can take boring, if technically correct, photos.

Here is a technically perfect, awful photo. It’s well exposed, there are good shadow and highlight details, the colors are accurate, and it’s thoroughly and completely boring.

And here is one of my favorite photos that I’ve taken this year. It was shot with an old film camera, so the quality isn’t perfect. There are a few development artifacts, and it’s a little soft. But it’s a much more interesting image than the photo of my light switch.

Now, this is an extreme example, but it’s a point that holds across all areas of photography. There is something more to photography than just technical perfection. It’s more than just taking photos of pretty places or people, and it’s what separates art from snapshots and good photos from bad. The word for that something more is composition.

Composition Is How You Place Things

Composition, at its most basic, is how you place your subject (and everything else) in your image. While it’s rare that you’ll be able to physically position buildings and trees where you want them to be, your choice of focal length, aperture, and where you stand all drastically change how different things will appear in the frame.

RELATED: What Focal Length Should I Use For My Photos?

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