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01-20-2011, 01:22 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Composition for Beginners

During my years teaching photography this article, close to 20 years old was probably the most understandable. While it's probably fairly common to get the students working on different aspects of composition, this article tended to put things in perspective... before you pop off on someone else's composition in the critique section.. you might want to read it. I've posted the first few pages, the rest click on the links to download if you're interested.



Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

You also might like the cover with the headline "Computers"The Ultimae Photo Accessories?" Or if you'd rather, apparently you can still buy this magazine from resellers, the one I saw it was $14.95. Once it gets past $1000 I'm selling mine and getting a lens.




Last edited by normhead; 01-20-2011 at 03:03 PM.
01-20-2011, 01:28 PM   #2
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nice thanks. the great thing i think is they acknowledge the rules can be broken right on page one. some of these shots would be heavily criticized, but they worked.
I think following the rules is a great way to help develop but your own style will also emerge and create and combine rules that work for your vision as well.
01-20-2011, 01:50 PM   #3
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QuoteQuote:
I think following the rules is a great way to help develop but your own style will also emerge and create and combine rules that work for your vision as well.
The best thing about rules is being able to see when you have a good shot even though you broke one of the biggies. Following the rules can be good too, but it's amazing how often breaking convention produces more standout results.
01-20-2011, 02:50 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The best thing about rules is being able to see when you have a good shot even though you broke one of the biggies. Following the rules can be good too, but it's amazing how often breaking convention produces more standout results.

i've been breaking rules all my life, not always to my benefit though

01-20-2011, 02:50 PM   #5
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unfortunately, only pages 1 & 2 are accessible. can you get the rest working? the article seems to be really good so far.
01-20-2011, 03:08 PM   #6
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Unfortunately, only pages 1 & 2 are accessible. can you get the rest working? the article seems to be really good so far.
OK, I think I've got it all working now, for some reason the filetype on page 2 is JPG , all the others are jpg. Those lack of capitals make a difference if you copy paste and just change the numbers. I scanned these things years ago, so I'm scratching my head thinking "how could that have happened?" One of those mysteries of the universe.
01-20-2011, 03:28 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
OK, I think I've got it all working now, for some reason the filetype on page 2 is JPG , all the others are jpg. Those lack of capitals make a difference if you copy paste and just change the numbers. I scanned these things years ago, so I'm scratching my head thinking "how could that have happened?" One of those mysteries of the universe.
Thank you for the article. While it wasn't the composition Bible, it was very fair in its assessment of what "good" composition is and is not. I appreciate you sharing that with us
01-20-2011, 03:50 PM   #8
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No problem, the pleasure's all mine.

01-20-2011, 05:14 PM   #9
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Good stuff. As mentioned in another thread, art started without rules. Rules are formulated when artists note how audiences react to their work, and then go applause-grabbing or patron-seeking. Compositional paradigms may change with time, although Euro-centric page layout / display typography (composition) has been remarkably stable for a few centuries.

I try for a simple compositional technique: Find something interesting, and put it where it will be noticed. That may mean using some rule of 2nds / 3rds / 4ths / whatever, and/or strong verticals / horizontals / diagonals / curves / circles / whatever, and/or reflections / responses / counterpoints, and/or (de)emphasizing color / tone / texture / contrast / acuity / whatever. Each rule has the opportunity to void some other rule. In other words, find a rule and break it.

A trick I learned in my TLR days: Print thin compositional templates on pieces of film that fit over the finder's groundglass. Load a template, then find a scene that fits it. Alternatively, use a grease pencil to sketch a template onto the groundglass. FORCE obedience to the rules!

But mostly I just absorb zillions of images, get ideas of what works, internalize the paradigms. Then when looking through a finder and a composition gels, SNAP! Or move things around until the comp is right. And in PP, crop crop crop.
01-20-2011, 05:16 PM   #10
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interesting article, pleasing to read and good photo examples.
Thanks for sharing.
01-29-2011, 11:50 AM   #11
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Norm,
Thanks for the link. It was a great article and I plan on putting some to use immediately. Hopefully they will stoke some creative thinking on my part!
01-29-2011, 12:25 PM   #12
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I'm going to check this out later.

For as long I've been shooting, I know that my composition skills are basically non-existent.

I never studied it at all, so I obviously never learned anything about it.

And Norm, I got a big kick out that headline too about computers. But in 1992, computers were way involved in PP, including drum scanning of transparencies, so I think that kind of shows PP's reluctance to enter the new digital world.
01-29-2011, 12:54 PM   #13
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Good read Norm. Indeed as with most things, you start off breaking rules unknowingly and/or incorrectly, then you graduate to knowing how to follow the rules to get decent results, then develop the skill to break the rules appropriately and effectively.

Some of this is intuitive, but knowledge and experience does help. Thanks for sharing this mate.
01-29-2015, 05:43 PM - 1 Like   #14
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what is the article name and author (or source)

Came across your old post and am hoping that you can provide a link or citation info that allows me to find the article you referenced.

Thanks.

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
During my years teaching photography this article, close to 20 years old was probably the most understandable. While it's probably fairly common to get the students working on different aspects of composition, this article tended to put things in perspective... before you pop off on someone else's composition in the critique section.. you might want to read it. I've posted the first few pages, the rest click on the links to download if you're interested.



Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

You also might like the cover with the headline "Computers"The Ultimae Photo Accessories?" Or if you'd rather, apparently you can still buy this magazine from resellers, the one I saw it was $14.95. Once it gets past $1000 I'm selling mine and getting a lens.
02-10-2016, 07:55 AM   #15
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The images have been reposted here.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/58-troubleshooting-beginner-help/313691-c...ml#post3523099
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