Composition - C&C Request

Started Jul 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
jbf Veteran Member • Posts: 3,539
Re: Composition - C&C Request

Teak wrote:


I am working on refining my composition skills. Below is a set of three shots that I call "Opposites Attract." It shows two box cars coupled together with wheels pointing in opposite direction. Which of three is the stronger composition. Thanks

I like the third one the best, but I would crop it slightly differently. I'm making one assumption which I'm pretty sure is correct. The way you composed the photo, it appears to me that the photo is more about the interesting shapes, lines, and colors than it is a "train" photo. The reason it's important is that precision is more critical for a shot that emphasizes large shapes than say for candid street photography where small details that are sloppy can actually enhance the casual nature of the image. In this photo it's easy to see how one rectangle balances another. For that reason, I noticed 3 minor details about this photo that you might consider changing. They are: the image is slightly tilted (left train higher than the right), the gap between trains is near the middle but slightly to the right of center, and the tracks at the very bottom detract a little from what is otherwise a pretty clean frame. Fortunately, all three of those issues can be fixed by one crop:

I didn't worry about keeping the aspect ratio the same, so you may need to modify it slightly if that is important, i.e. for framing.

A few quick additional comments:

My crop is symmetrical. It would also work to crop so that the gap is off to one side, but I suggest moving it more off center than in your crop. If it's just a small amount off center it looks like an oversight rather than an artistic choice.

There's a yellow cast in photos 2 and 3 as compared to 1.

The vertical crop of 1 and 2 has potential. Cropping vertically shows off the many horizontal layers. It's close, but this scene doesn't quite work for me cropped that way although I encourage you to keep experimenting with that type of crop.

Nice job,


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