Seeing photographically

To make good pictures it is essential not just to know your camera. It is also important to take your time to learn some about image composition. The best camera in the world would be useless when you don´t regard the rules of composition. So, first we need to do, is to take a look over some rules and principles of photography to develop a photographic view. But before, let’s start with a brief introduction about the rules of composition.

Where do these rules come from and who determined them?

They were developed and established by genius artists in the past centuries. Later they were adopted by photographers. But I have to tell you that you don´t need to follow these rules blindly to create great compositions. You can rather do good pictures when you are willing to disregard obsolete and antiquate principles. For example, in the classic photography it is said that the entire motif has to be presented in a picture. Modern photographers though go further and photograph just specific sections of a whole. Thus, they are able to make some new and bold creations.

The two-dimensional view

The one of the photography basics is to learn to see the motif two-dimensionally you want to photograph, because a camera cannot produce any 3D-pictures. For that reason, some of the professional photographers recommend to observe the landscapes with one eye while the second one is closed or covered with the hand. For my share, I never did this. Instead I formed a kind of a frame with my thumbs and forefingers and held them in the front of my motif.

This corresponded quite good with the pictures I made after that. But of course you can choose your favorite way.

Additionally to the frame with the fingers or a one-eye-view you should circle around your motif if possible. Don´t dread to go down on your knees to change the point of view. Neither don´t hesitate to lay down prone and to direct the objective of your camera onto the motif.

Avoiding of overlappings and disturbing elements

Additionally to the capability of seeing two-dimensionally you should absolutely avoid overlappings, to ensure a good picture composition. Disturbing elements are leading likewise to poor results. Hence, you need to avoid them as well.

For example, look at this composition below. It could have been a great picture, if there weren´t been the boat’s masts. There are to much overlappings and thus, they bring a lot of restlessness into the photo and let appear it unbalanced.

This is another example of a miscarried composition:

There are too many disturbing elements besides the main element – the building complex on the left side. On the right side you can see a red ship, behind this a part of a white cruise liner. Behind the red ship there is also a tower with some power supply lines and so on. As you can see, this photo is quite unattractive.

Now let’s take a look, how to do it better:

This one is still not perfect but much better that the previous photo. By zooming in to make the disturbing elements disappear, you see now a picture, which brings more calmness and more structure by the clear outlines of the building and the peer.

Calm backgrounds

Calm backgrounds are important technique for a successful picture composition. For this reason, when you see through the seeker of your camera, you also should pay attention to the background, not only to the motif. If you see a disturbing background, you have the choice. Either you can open the blend more widely to make the background blurred or if you can, put your motif in front of another background.

This is an example of a restless background which makes the photo pretty unattractive:

So let’s take a look on another picture. This one comes much better into its own because the background is blurry and delivers the calmness. Thus, the eye of the beholder can concentrate to watch the main motif.

Actually, the background is pretty disturbing. But as it is blurry, it brings the calmness into the composition.

Deleting failed pictures or retouching them

Of course, you can delete the failed pictures when you check them back home on  your PC. But what if you notice a mistake and would not have the possibility to return to the place you shot your photo? By means of a steady training of your photographical view, you would be able to avoid these disagreeable situations on the spot.

And of course, if you are good in Photoshop, you could retouch the failed picture. But what if you feel that the photography is for you more than a nice hobby? In this case you would notice that all of these belated retouchings would be a very annoying job which costs a lot of your precious time.

Hence, it is better to avoid all the disturbing elements from the outset by training of your photographical view.

Okay folks, these were just a few photography basics for beginners. Please, be aware that if you want to make real good pictures and act like a pro in photography, you need to read some good books firstly. To start, I can recommend you the book “BetterPhoto Basics” from Jim Miotke.

After your read this book, you need to practice as often as you can. Because the best book in the world can only impart the theory. But you can only achieve real good results when you are practice the theory.


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