Composition In Photography – Get BETTER fast!
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Composition In Photography – Get BETTER fast!

November 6, 2019

today I’m gonna talk about composition
and I will give you five ways how to improve your composition fast hi there I’m Peter fours got an old
positioner and a professional photographer from Helsinki Finland and
before we start talking about composition please consider subscribing
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online my channel is all about you getting to be a better photographer and
about Olympus gear and remember I post two videos a week usually on Tuesdays
and on Fridays but let’s start to talk about composition first we need to talk
about what does composition mean and why it is so important and I will quote
myself from a book that I wrote in 2004 it’s called a good photograph and I
wrote this is say this this book is written and finished but this is a
translation of what I wrote about composition in that book let’s see with
composition we try to set the elements in the photograph so that it will make
our subject in the center of our attention well a simple word it just
means that we make the conversation so that our subject is in the middle of our
attention well it’s actually the same thing that I already said but that’s
that’s the simple simple and shortest way to say it and there’s always say
that you have these composition rules but actually there are no rules these
composition methods or ways of making the conversation is just formed because
those are the ways that we like and when we pick up photographs we tend to like
photographs with day let’s say with a golden ratio or a rule of thirds which
is quite close or I will get back to back to those terms later in the video
but it’s just something that our eyes naturally like I don’t know it’s been
for ages like golden ratios been for ages we have old paintings that are the
composition is like golden ratio and that’s just something that we’re used to
and we are kind of like learned that it’s right nobody has set the rules in a
way that’s why it’s kind of funny to say about rules because usually rules are
set by some some authority says that this is good but that’s not the true or
that’s not the case with with making compositions but let’s start with the
number one use rule of thirds and remember when I talk about the rule of
thirds it also applies to golden ratio they are very close to each other so I
don’t have a special tip about golden ratio but it works the same way as rule
of thirds we don’t want to put the horizon necessarily in the middle of the
photograph we might want to have it in you know two thirds from up or two
thirds from the bottom it all depends on what’s more interesting the foreground
the ground the water whatever is in the foreground or the sky it all depends on
that then what we want to tell it will make the composition show that there is
more space in the sky usually the photograph looks more open it but on the
other hand if we concentrate on the ground on the foreground on the on the
sea in the front of that it makes image more closed and of course that’s another
way but as I said the main thing is that which one is more important if we have a
beautiful sky then we might lower the horizon to be in the bottom of the of
the frame and then of course if there is something really interesting in the
foreground we do the opposite in rule of thirds you try to set your main subject
on these points and a pro tip for making the
conversation with the camera in many cameras you can set grid lines to your
viewfinder or LCD and in olympus those can be find in special menu D it might
be a special menu d3 it depends on the camera that you have and there are
several different options that you can choose from and said the grid line that
you need I usually use this ones because this is pretty close to golden ratio and
it’s actually a rule of thirds and then number 2 symmetry we in symmetry we try
to put everything in the middle so that it’s kind of like if you would put a
line and make a kind of like a mirror image to the other side it would be
almost the same that you have the attention in the middle of the frame and
that’s a really powerful way also but remember sometimes doing a symmetrical
can be a bit boring but used nicely it will make a difference and it will look
good both of these two that I already said the rule of thirds and the symmetry
uses in many cases so-called leading lines the leading lines are lines that
will guide the viewers eye to the main subject of the image what I like about
leading lines is that it really helps the viewer to see what’s important in
your image and what are you what is your intentions that you want to show to the
viewer we want to draw our viewer attention to the things that we want
that’s why making a great composition or making the composition so that you think
what the viewers are looking and what you are or what you want them to look at
also and that’s why it’s really important to understand a good
composition and what it means experiment with these you know rule of thirds and
symmetry are a bit opposite but try to experiment with the different ways of
making me making the composition in your image which one you use actually more
symmetry or rule of thirds take a look at your images and see what is your way
of doing because either one of these is right or wrong it just depends on what
you want to tell the viewer and then number three using foreground
having something in the foreground is a great way of making the composition
there are two main things that or why this is very very good way the first one
is that you frame the subject the elements that you have in the image it
can be a tree it can be some constructions it can be some shapes in
the in the environment in the in the scene usually in the cities you can have
always you can’t always you have corridors you got tunnels whatever you
have that is a frame in your image and also if you have the frame in the
foreground it will give the image some depth you will have a foreground you
have will have the subject or the mid part then you will have the background
you will have kind of like three layers which makes the two-dimensional space
more 3d and that will make the image more interesting so try to make so that
you have something in the foreground in your image and this does not mean that
this for using foreground elements is something different from symmetry or
rule of thirds you can still use the front element in both of those symmetry
or rule of thirds it will make those images two more interesting because it
will give the a bit of more depth to the images so do you that you have the 3d
three-dimensional feeling of the image and then number four is framing which we
actually already covered a bit but framing is something that you can draw
your attention more closely to your subject put something around the subject
and it will draw attention immediately and leading lines is also a very
important thing in that so the lines leads to the frame and then you have the
subject inside the frame and as I said earlier you can combine all these
different tips and this one also framing and foreground they are closely together
you can use the frame in foreground or you can use it somewhere in the middle
of the image but just put your subject inside the frame and the frame as I said
already can be you know a tree can be a a door can be a doorway or or whatever
and then of course you can use the leading lines to guide your viewers
eye to your subject which is inside the frame so you have many different ways of
making the composition and combining several different tips so this is not easy actually it’s it’s
easier it’s actually hard to say how to explain that but it’s also quite hard to
make this does some practices I already said experiment and try different things
and and don’t just grab the image but quickly but just you know so walk around
the thing and look what’s in the background and are there any things that
you could use as a frame there are lots a lots of things especially in cities
you have lots and lots of things that can frame your subject and before we get
into the fifth one yes there will be number six too but the first one is
light light is very important in photographs without light there won’t be
any photographs the word photography comes from the Greek language and means
drawing with light so always look for the light and light is also a very
important part of making the composition because when we look at the photograph
the first thing we see usually is the lighter part of the image so try to have
your main subject be the most light lightest thing in the in the frame
that’s where our eye is heading but of course if you have totally white
background then our eyes will look for the darker areas so but in may in many
cases you don’t have a pitch a pitch black you should pitch black I was
talking about white background so remember that we tend to see the light
part of the image first and this is also very important when we do
post-production in our images try to always make so that if you know if you
cannot make it at the location so that the the lighter part of your image is
just object you place the subject on the latter part of the image then you can
try to do that in post make your subject a bit lighter and darken the background
that will help a lot to draw your viewers eye to the to your subject so
that we will have the attention on the subject and that will help you make the
composition and usually it also makes the image look a bit better when you
have different shades of black and white shadows and highlights
when I say black and white I mean hideouts and shadows of course and
that’s really important and that’s something that you need to understand
when you do post-production that’s I think that’s one of the starting points
and then of course cropping is another thing you might want to crop and
fine-tune your cropping in post to I don’t think there was nothing wrong with
cropping your images in posts but of course if you can do the perfect
composition in location it’s fine it’s of course it’s better but nothing wrong
with cropping your image if if the cropping makes it better then just do it
and remember you also have gridlines in Lightroom you have a different options
to choose from these are very handy if you want to crop your image afterwards
that will help you to make the perfect composition to your image and then we
have the last one number six and this is break all the rules that I’ve just said
yeah I know this might find a little contradictory but that is something if
we do everything by the book and so the less I was staying up talking about the
rules and we do everything like that the problem is that most likely your image
is going to be a bit boring if you do everything by the book having something
that breaks the rule a bit something that is a bit distracting in your image
something that it’s wrong usually makes it a lot lot better it’s more
interesting because it starts to bother the viewer and it can really it’s it’s
just not a pretty image you start looking at it because there’s something
wrong with the image and I think it’s it’s really hard to explain but that is
something that you really should start doing and thinking about that break the
rules and make the images more interesting and that something also is
important when you’re breaking the rules you need to have a feeling that we’re
telling a story with by breaking the rules they’re more likely to be a story
people start thinking why that thing is there and why is this person like this
or why is the thing right there because it’s ruining the image and people are
starting questions and that’s why it is really really hard to what the judge
images because when you’re breaking the rules
it’s kind of wrong but then the might the the image might be a lot more
interesting start mastering your composition and you’re happy with them
then start breaking the rules but of course breaking the rules by accident is
not the way you need to learn the right way first and after that you can you can
start breaking the rules and start making your images more interesting but
that is something that you should start thinking about and start improving your
photography that way that learn the basics and then break the basic rules
and you will get a lot better and your images will be a lot more interesting
and you might want to watch these videos next this is a playlist of different
photo techniques and then we have videos about the brand new if I mark 3 if you
haven’t watched those I recommend watching both of these playlists
there are lots and lots of good stuff about photography and about cameras ok
thanks for watching and bye for now

Only registered users can comment.

  1. "Rule" of thirds is the one I use more often because it is the simplest way to begin with composition 😅.
    The second one I use as often as possible is the framing.
    Anyway, I prefer the leading lines but I found that it is not the easiest technic 😜

  2. Very intresting video Peter. This video made me want to go out and take photos
    And do you now why Olympus dont have a high megapixel camera like the Sony have the 61mp and nikon has 40mp cameras

  3. Really good info, Personally I’m no good with computers so post production for me is really hard, as I’m not interested with computers it makes learning hard work and for me very boring so cropping is really easy and use that most. I try to get my picture as near as i want it to be before I take the picture whereas my partner hammers away on the shutter and sorts her pictures out on the computer, two very different approaches but we both get there in our own way. P.S. don’t know how you find time for all the videos you post but I do appreciate it thank you

  4. I often use the rule of thirds and symmetries, because they are the simplest and because, unfortunately, I don't have the time to reason and analyze a scene as I would like. But I also love the sixth rule, breaking the rules 🙂

  5. Good advice and excellent pics to illustrate themes, Peter. Impressive city snow scenes, but my favorite image was the gull eating from a bag, with man in background also eating (super interest, plus humor, critical moment).

  6. A picture I saw the other day, taken maybe a hundred years ago. Seven eight men spread across the middle and bottom of the picture. Everyone smokes a pipe, but at the bottom left you find a dog, it also has a pipe in the mouth and looks towards the photographer. Well, all the rules have exceptions and this one made me laugh.

  7. I have always set the golden ratio in the M1. This possibility helps immensely. In this sense, break all the rules >> 🙂

  8. Good stuff in here; yes rules are nonesense but will give a workmanlike image even if its not worth looking at; it wont offend at least. I got very hung up with composition many years back until I realised that taking photos for 50 years and having trained as an artist, I just instinctively composed images and that the key seemed to be balance. If the different subject "masses" balance then the image looks right. Push subjects into dynamic places and instinctively the rest of the image has to move to balance it; you dont compose an image you compensate it. Your wrong composition rule breaking elements are not wrong, they are providing dynamic balance; they are right. More interestingly, 15 or so years ago I became aware of the work of Prof Ramachandran and his eight laws of artistic experience ( ). This turned my thinking on its head. A good composition looks right but mostly it looks dull and samey; dull and lifeless like everybody else's average output. Prof Rama is a neuro-surgeon who has worked with severely damaged people and has applied his knowledge of brain processes to art. Why do picture elements work and why do some catch your attention more than others? Why does the brain explore some images more closely and why do some have more impact? Its because our brains have evolved to find such elements important in our survival. His work is well worth a read, it puts the impact into your images 😉

  9. Good vlog, I enjoyed the aspects that led into each other, particularly the end No6 break all the rules, this gave individuals something to aspire to, in seeing the perspectives and attain freedom with growth. what is possible? Anything if you learn the basics.

  10. I think you misspelled "BRAKE". It should be BREAK. Anyway, good video. Basically, use rules 1-5 as a guide to find your own path to rule 6.

  11. I have all the methods in mind when taking photographs, and try to use what suits the motif best, but it's not as easy as it seems, I try to learn from watching other people's images that I really like.

  12. I cannot self critique. The happiness I experience while making an image always clouds the way I look at it later. It’s tough to admit your photo is terrible when the memory of making it was so enjoyable.

  13. Thank you Peter for this video. I enjoyed being reminded again of the rules. I’m a very spontaneous photographer and loses my ‘mind’ when photographing – what I mean is I forget rules 🙂 . By the way, one of our South African ambassadors and the marketing manager from the UK introduced a group of us to the new OMD EM5 iii. I still have my first EM 5 and I’ll wait for my EM 1 ii to be upgraded to iii.

  14. Having items in the foreground often gives your image a 3D feel. Funny, I was writing this just as I reached your section of the video where you covered this subject. Good job, thanks. 👍 p.s. most people just point and shoot without any thought of composition. That’s why what could have been an excellent shot is just mediocre.

  15. “Breaking the rules.” Happens to me often. By mistake. LOL 😁 I really hate when that happens. For me, it usually means a ruined shot.

  16. Your video are always so raw, and feel like your talking to me. down to earth, straight like a nice scotch.. All the other you tuber are so rehearsed and so scripted. there some truth in way you leaving small error in your video, or just correct on the fly. The Secret to your success, Will be to not fearing to revealing trade secrets, the deep you look into your past and expressing your journey of how you have achieved your current photographer status. this how you'll pull tighter your viewers to your level and understand of photography. growing your Community,,,the closer to your goal you will be of making everyone a better photographer. More subscribers you will achieve I'm sure. go deeper brake down the complexity of it all, simplify clarify and Guide,

    time for a third video a week, of you on site,
    in your photographer role..
    just maybe have a camera follow you at first
    no talking needed. live feed in real time( is rocket fuel peter.)
    just showing work flow. as start
    processes, setting up workspace on professional level on assignments

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