Struggling to understand/practice composition

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
OP PerAE Regular Member • Posts: 403
Re: Struggling to understand/practice composition

CptAmerica wrote:

PerAE wrote:


I’m new to this photography thing (besides using my phone) and I’m having a hard time understanding how to compose my photos in a good way. There’s a tendency to put the subjects smack in the middle when I look at my photos. Not in all of them, but a lot.

I thought I’ll post two photos here where I deliberately put the subjects in the middle and with a lot of room around them so that someone who’s good at this could perhaps show me how you would have composed these scenes (and perhaps explain to me why you’d choose to compose them that way)

Composition isn't just where around the frame you place your main subject. There is a lot more to it than that. That's Just one piece. A lot of your composition is everything else in the picture. The toy in the sand off to the left, things in the background that either add or detract from the image. Sometimes having something dead center IS the better composition. It totally and 100% depends on what is in the picture.

Here is a good example of an image where the image is MUCH stronger centered right smack in the middle.

In regards to portraits, when you look at your image, there is a subjective feel to the direction of the "energy" in the image. Take this picture of my boy below. The "flow" or direction of the energy in the image, is from left to right. This will always be determined by your subject's position, eye direction, and other details in the image. Because my boy is looking right in the image (his left), the image breaths a little placing him on the left. If I were to re-crop this exactly the opposite where his head was on the right side, he would be staring right at the edge of the image and it would produce some tension in the image. It would feel tight, and off.

Here is another example of mine where the direction of the energy in the image dictates placement of the subject.

So the direction of this energy, even if that direction is "dead center"... is what I use to determine subject placement in the image. Balancing that, with lighting, and other things included WITH your subject (bg, etc) is what builds your better image. This takes a lot of practice. It doesn't come overnight.

Thanks for a very interesting post with great pictures as examples! Very easy to understand what you mean then, great stuff! I see what you mean by the direction of the energy

How would you frame a picture like this where the subject looks more straight ahead? Would you push that to one side( the left?) too?

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