Struggling to understand/practice composition

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
BBbuilder467 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,601
Re: Struggling to understand/practice composition

PerAE wrote:

BBbuilder467 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)

Using a cellphone in portrait orientation, I tend to pick subject matter that favors being centered. When using a camera in landscape orientation, I can choose subject matter that can be composed differently. Your animal photos are similar to portraits, where there is nothing else in the scene, so they will tend to be centered.

Try more complicated scenes with more subject matter to relate to. Just zooming in and out will change the composition. When there is more in the scene, you'll have a reason to adjust the composition.

Using the phone has probably got you in the habit of selecting subjects that look best centered. When using a camera, I have to remember not to do that.

That’s are really good point! I’m very used to using a phone and have little experience with a camera (and zoom).

So for close ups of people and animals composition isn’t all that important, but if I take a wider shot (fex to show what the animals are doing or in what surroundings they are) composition starts to matter more?

With the phone, you moved forward and back to frame and compose, and the subject looked best centered. You were doing it naturally. You basically isolated a single subject. Most of the photos were in portrait orientation.

You have more choices with the camera to add more subject matter in the frame.  Instead of one subject, use two, and see how they fit. You can't fill the frame with One subject all the time. You have to balance it out when there is more in the scene.

You would have done the same thing when you used the phone in landscape orientation. It wouldn't look as good with everything centered.

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