Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Loved this post on composition by Alain Briot LINK:

15 Thoughts on Composition

by Alain Briot

It is one of those things you read, that expresses better what you feel.
and helps you clarify for yourself what you are doing.
* I never believed that a Great photograph ever really represented what is real.
It's how you saw it  ... Show that.

Also loved this statement about composition:
"transforming the natural chaos into an organized image.

– It involves creating order out of chaos"

Ross Hamamura
"The Tourist of Light"

"Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
Albert Einstein

1 - Composition is the strongest way of seeing
– This is Edward Weston's definition of composition. – It is still my favorite definition of composition.

2 - Composition is not just the placement of objects in the frame

– Composition also involves using color, contrast and light .

– Composition includes post processing in the raw converter and in Photoshop.

3 - The goal of composition is to express your vision and your emotional response to the scene

– The goal of Fine Art Composition is not to create a documentary representation of the scene.

– Nor is it to create a photograph that is only technically perfect .

– The goal is to create an image that is superior, both expressively and technically.

4 - What the camera captures is objective. What the artist sees and feels is subjective

– Take stock of your emotional response to the scene in front of you.

– Record those emotions in writing or in audio.

– Use light, color, contrast, composition and cropping to reproduce these emotions visually.

– Work on this both in the field and in the studio.

5 - Think first about light

– A photograph is only as good as the light you use.

– The subject is less important than the light that illuminates this subject.

– The best subject in bad light does not make for a good photograph.

6 - Use foreground-background relationships

– Find a great foreground and place it in front of a great background.

– Make sure your foreground is large enough to play an important role in the composition.

7 - Contrast opposites elements

– Human beings think and see in terms of opposites .

– Therefore this is something everyone can relate to.

Opposite examples include:

- Static / moving

- Young / old

- Large / small

- Organic / man made

8 - Composing a photograph is not about redoing what someone else has done before

– If tempted to redo an image you have seen, just buy the postcard, the book or the poster.

– You cannot be someone else, therefore you cannot take the same photographs as someone else.

– You will waste time trying to do so.

– Instead, start to create your own images right away.

9 - Being inspired by and redoing someone else's work are two different things

– You can certainly be inspired by the work of other photographers.

– We have all been inspired by the work of other artists and photographers.

– This is an inherent aspect of the artistic process.

10 - No amount of technology can make up for a lack of inspiration

– Cameras and other gears are technical.

– Inspiration is artistic.

– The two exist on different planes.

– Achieving a Personal style in Fine Art means working as an artist not just as a technician.

11 - People, not cameras, compose photographs

– Certainly, a camera is a necessity.

– However, your camera cannot compose a photograph anymore than your car can drive itself.

12 - "Correct" is whatever works when the goal is to create fine art

– There is no such thing as Other right thing in art.

– What is Art ? is a question to which there are many answers.

– We therefore have to answer this question for ourselves.

– We are also bound to disagree with others because fine art is a polarized activity.

13 - Straight fine art prints are a myth

– All fine art prints are a modification of the image recorded by the camera.

– The composition of the image you started in the field is continued in the studio .

– This is done through image optimization because colors, contrast, borders, image format, etc. are all part of composition.

14 - The "right" color balance is the strongest way of seeing color

– There is no such thing as the "right" color balance in Fine Art.

– This is because color is one of the ways you express your emotional response to the scene.

– For this reason, the "right" color balance for a specific image will differ from one photographer to the next.

15 - The finest compositions are those you never saw until you created them

– Recreating a composition you saw before is easy.

– Creating a brand new composition, one you have never seen before, is difficult.

– This is because doing so requires transforming the natural chaos into an organized image.

– It involves creating order out of chaos, as Elliott Porter said.

AGAIN this is from:


15 Thoughts on Composition
by Alain Briot

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