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Composition: From Chaos to Order

Most hobbyists get the technical side of photography right eventually, but many seem to struggle with composition for a long time. The reason for that is, that there’s no recipe or workflow for good composition that would work in any given situation. There are so many rules for good composition and it can sometimes be hard to see which particular rules apply to the scene in front of your camera. And sometimes even though you tried to apply some of these rules the picture doesn’t work at all once you look at it on a bigger screen. However, I found that in some of these cases you can apply composition rules and save the image in post processing.

This is what the result looked like on the big screen. You can easily make out the key elements of the composition, the enlarged water lily in the foreground and the tree in the background.

The image is a mess.

However, there is no connection between the two. Even worse, the midground is a mess and blocks the eye from moving up to the tree.

Composition is all about leading the eye from one point in the image to the most important part of the image, unless the subject is completely isolated and there is nowhere else the eye can look at anyway.

In that sense, this composition fails miserably.

2 thoughts on Composition: From Chaos to Order

    • Indeed it is. The key to composition is that we “see” with our brains instead of with our eyes and the human brain is constantly looking for patterns and other clues, such as size, colour, contrast, sharpness etc.

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