Any Camera Will Do- Tips on Composition: The Viewfinder with Marcin Lewandowski
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Any Camera Will Do- Tips on Composition: The Viewfinder with Marcin Lewandowski

October 10, 2019


Welcome my name is Marcin Lewandowski and in this episode of the Viewfinder I will talk a little bit about enjoying shooting with whatever camera you might already have and looking past the hardware. Our working title for this episode was along the lines of “poor camera challenge” but the more I thought about it, the less it made sense in context to what I want to say. The main point I want to make about the subject will be partially illustrated by the examples, I will create with my little Lo no pro camera, which actually broke down, being no pro and I had to use my mobile phone instead. In fairness even the simplest cameras of today, surpass anything from not that long ago. Just to give you a little bit of perspective: after switching to digital around 12 years ago, my first DSLR was a 6MP Nikon D70s and I had no problems delivering good quality photographs even when shooting assignment. So where am I going with all of this you might ask? Well even though you need a camera as a tool to capture images they’re much more important considerations, as whatever camera you might have on you should do the job just fine, especially photography is just your hobby or something you do sporadically. In a mini series of videos I will look at the basics that helped to create interesting photographs starting with one of the most important techniques composition. It’s a key element to building an interesting photograph the camera allows us to choose a fraction of what we see and keep it, cropping out all the visual distractions, filtering out all the unwanted elements. It’s like putting up frame around something we like. A very good exercise in structure is to get into a habit of framing images with a rectangle created by our fingers. This allows to see photographically whenever we spot something interesting and practice without having a camera around. I always do this when something catches my eye this way I can add it to my visual vocabulary, many of these images will stay imprinted in my head and next I grab my camera I have more reference points for framing. Two very important devices to remember about when learning about composition are the rule of thirds and the golden ratio, naturally both of them expand beyond framing and they exist to be broken but they certainly help to create balanced photographs that are easier to read. Basically the rule of thirds is cutting our frame into nine equal pieces with two vertical and two horizontal lines, just like the grid in most camera viewfinders. If we want to focus the viewers attention or anything within our frame we theoretically need to place it on one of the dividing lines or one of their intersections. A very similar rule applies when using simplification of the golden ratio in a form of a phi grid which also splits our image into nine pieces but in a slightly different way I’m sure that you’ve already heard about it, but one thing I might suggest to you is to try to re-frame and re-crop images that you already have. In Lightroom develop panel go to the crop tool (keyboard shortcut “R”) and have a look at your photograph with grid aforementioned rules. By pressing “O” you can cycle through different views. You can also change fibonacci grid direction when in the golden ratio mode by pressing Shift+”O”. I hope you found todays episode interesting and if you would like me to talk more about composition, be it basics or more advanced techniques, please let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and check out the Adorama Learning Center for some more tips and tutorials. This was Marcin Lewandowski for Adorama TV. See you next time.

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  1. I find artistically-oriented videos to be 10x more interesting than gear-oriented ones. This one was pretty cool ^_^

  2. i want to learn more detail about golden ratio. it's quite complicated! where's the subject should be in the frame?

  3. Composition is my living hell when taking photos. I just never seem to get it right, no matter if I follow the rules, or do my own thing. I can't help thinking that some of it might be to do with wrong focal length, but I am just guessing.

  4. I agree about the use of the crop tool. I do not always seem to get the composition correct in camera, though within the composition (that I might grade a "0" initially) is what my mind's was seeing. The tough part is taking the time, and also in the continuing to see the other cropped pics that are often times within a too busy pic. If one can accept that fact that the print will many times not be in the standard dimensions, one can get some nice printed or posted images… imo

  5. Thanks a lot!
    The intro is what I think so true!
    "Learn to use your tools!"
    Very interested in the continuation about composition.

  6. with a camera with interchangeable lenses: different FOV and DOF, off camera flash, manual control, different metering modes, faster FPS, tilf-shift lenses, better dynamic range, etc
    mobile phone for street, ? landscape maybe, but not possible to attach real filters, or doing sport/ wildlife
    cmon, there is no comparison..

  7. Thanks for the video, Marcin! I think composition is something all photographers should practice, whether you're a beginner or a pro. I'd love to see some more advanced techniques, please!

  8. I really would like to see more tips and ideas on composition as you mentioned. A great video! Dzieki za inspiracje!

  9. Great summation of the subject.
    Similar videos would be extremely beneficial in opening the mind to exploring the elements of photography beyond the body and lenses. I would also like to see you take this topic further and to create a more detailed and possibly advanced composition video for those that want to maximise their use of this element in their photography.

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