Correct composition

6 11 2009

This is something that I was going to cover in a short write-up, however, if something is done right the first time, then leave it alone. Lately, a lot of reels/tutorials/general work that I have seen have failed in two major areas. Colour theory and composition layout and weighting. Composition layout and weighting is an area that amateurs often ignore or have little knowledge of.

Colour theory is something that I will aim to tackle in future. For now, I will leave it to composition.

Essentially composition layout and weighting is placing things in your frame in a way that it pleases the eye. It saves big things over weighing small things and colour over weighing shades; and vice versa. It is an involved technique that should be applied to all areas of design, including, motion graphics, 3D, photography, painting etc etc.

I found an article that I think explains the theory of composition well, hence not needing to go into detail about it and leave it to this article writer.

Read the article….. HERE

Another ‘rule’ that compliments composition layout is the famed “Rule of Thirds”. Again, I have found an article that I feel spells out this theory well.

Read the article…… HERE

Here are some photos that show poor composition. The photos come courtesy of Moviemaker.co.nr.

In this photo we have a dog. A simple shot. Apart from the obvious problems with colour and contrast this photo leads our viewing eye all over the place. It flys in the face of composition theory. There is no foreground in this shot, in fact the dog’s face is the foreground. Additionally, there is little background so it doesn’t give a viewer much perspective. The photographer should have either stood further back and allowed some foreground on lowered himself to the dog’s level. This way there is foreground and background but more importantly it allows the photographer to bring the dog’s face (the subject) more to the centre when a good composition can be applied and a rule of thirds observed.

Now in this photo (from the same ‘photographer’ we have a flower. Again we have an issue here with the colouring, however, the main problem again lies with composition. There are two things that could be the subject in this image: the flower or the Bee (I bet you didn’t notice the Bee. It is in the far top left hand corner). The photographer, however, has made the blurred out shrubs in the background to be the subject via his poor composition. Had the photographer stood up more and move to his left he would have bought the flower and bee into a correct perspective. Additionally, he should have either stood closer and zoomed in on the subject. The background takes up most of the shot.

These are common mistakes, so I hope that the links I provided can help you all observe these basic concepts and produce better work in future.

Here are two other links that provide fantastic information on this subject also…. HERE and HERE

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26 responses

7 11 2009
digidirectors

Who do you think you are blasting someone again, especially for photography. Have you looked at your own gallery? etc etc etc

7 11 2009
MM

Um daniel, I’m using a 100 dollar camera. I don’t have manual focus, I’m not going to color correct every photo I take. Have you ever tried photographing a moving animal? Like a dog? It’s not easy. Most of your photo’s are of signs and streets.

As for you telling me how to zoom, I have 1.3x optical zoom and 5x digital. That’s physically impossible for me too do.

Why don’t you point out some of the good ones I took? You didn’t take any from my favorite pictures.

If you want me to start pointing out everything that you do that’s wrong, I will.

7 11 2009
MM

Oh, and by the way, everything I own and create is under the Creative Commons 3.0 licensee. Which means you need to ask me before you use it.

7 11 2009
ghostdigital

@ MM

Have you ever tried photographing a moving animal? Like a dog? It’s not easy. Most of your photo’s are of signs and streets.


Obviously you missed the big sign that says “ANIMAL GALLEY”, that has many photos of moving animals. This shows your intelligence level.

As for you telling me how to zoom, I have 1.3x optical zoom and 5x digital. That’s physically impossible for me too do.


Hmm you first say that you have zoom and then you finish by saying it is impossible for you to zoom. Gee you keep making so much sense.

Why don’t you point out some of the good ones I took?


You don’t have any.

Also, I picked out photos that clearly showed poor composition techniques. Take the constructive critique and learn from it. Fight it if you want, but you know you’re terrible.

7 11 2009
ghostdigital

@ MM

You, Sir, never fail to show your lack of intelligence.

Have a read of this; the ACTUAL creative commons license.

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered, in terms of what others can do with your works licensed under Attribution.

Not to mention, that NO WHERE on your dud of a site do you state that your work is covered by a creative commons license. Damn, I should just let you talk from now on. You do a great job of destroying yourself.

7 11 2009
ghostdigital

@ digidirectors

If you want to critique my photography that is fine, in fact I welcome it. Even though your photography is some of the worst portraits that I have seen I welcome any critique. However, your critique isn’t critique. It is a diatribe about how great you are etc. Anyone is able to see your site as it is listed amongst the worst so bragging about your ability isn’t welcomed. However, by all means offer constructive critique if your use of language is up to the challenge.

7 11 2009
MM

Shooting animals in cages at the zoo doesn’t count, sorry. I’ve been to zoos. That’s hardly a wild animal. A dog isn’t a wild animal either, but it sure moves around more when its been cooped up all day.

“Hmm you first say that you have zoom and then you finish by saying it is impossible for you to zoom. Gee you keep making so much sense.”

You have plenty of horrible photo’s, I’ll just point out a couple, here’s this one:
https://gh0stdigital.wordpress.com/photography/animal-gallery/gorilla1/
What am I looking at here, 2 pairs of shoulders and a blurred out llama? Not to mention you can’t even read what’s on the sleeve of the man on the left side. That might of added something, but its not legible. Horrible photo.

For somebody who said “There are two things that could be the subject in this image” You sure did mess up:
https://gh0stdigital.wordpress.com/photography/animal-gallery/skamp1/
What am I looking at here, the leaf or the “skamp”?

This one is just horrible:
https://gh0stdigital.wordpress.com/photography/animal-gallery/snake/
The blur around the edges messes up your depth and perception. Not to mention the overall quality (resolution) of the picture is pretty bad.

Last but certainly not the worst:
https://gh0stdigital.wordpress.com/photography/generalgallery/tiolet/
What, are you trying to be deep or something? Not to mention the hand soap being basically centered in the screen, the picture is horrible. Do you just run around snapping pictures and then color correcting them? Because that’s what it looks like, you have pictures of railroads, signs, BATHROOMS, I mean, really? Your desperate, and you say you have a job? You sure have plenty of free time don’t you.

7 11 2009
ghostdigital

@ MM

Again you intelligence comes to the fore. However, lets work through your comment one by one.

Shooting animals in cages at the zoo doesn’t count, sorry. I’ve been to zoos. That’s hardly a wild animal. A dog isn’t a wild animal either, but it sure moves around more when its been cooped up all day.


Sorry to disappoint, but no animals in the zoo were in a straight jacket. They were free to move around and had a rather large enclosure (no leed either). In many of the shots the animals were moving.

https://gh0stdigital.wordpress.com/photography/animal-gallery/gorilla1/
What am I looking at here,


2 people looking through into an enclosure. It think that is pretty obvious.

https://gh0stdigital.wordpress.com/photography/animal-gallery/skamp1/
What am I looking at here, the leaf or the “skamp”?


Since the focus is on the ‘skamp’ you would be looking at the skamp. The leaf is shadowed and therefore not eye drawing. Again, that’s obvious.

https://gh0stdigital.wordpress.com/photography/generalgallery/tiolet/
What, are you trying to be deep or something? Not to mention the hand soap being basically centered in the screen, the picture is horrible. Do you just run around snapping pictures and then color correcting them? Because that’s what it looks like, you have pictures of railroads, signs, BATHROOMS, I mean, really? Your desperate, and you say you have a job? You sure have plenty of free time don’t you


Well, I already mentioned your intelligence, or lack-there-of. This post was to show how a composition is best displayed. I mentioned about the rule of thirds etc etc. If you read the post and related articles you would realise that having the ‘hand soap’ toward the centre of he frame simply obeys the rule of thirds correctly. Sorry that I didn’t put it nearly off the frame like you do and therefore show terrible composition.
I shoot many things. It all depends on where I go etc. Obviously I went to the zoo so I took shots. I went for a weekend away with my girlfriend, took shots. I am not a profesional photographer so I don’t need to follow any cliches of “I photograph only these things”. This you will not understand because, well, you don’t understand anything.

In future keep you posts shorter. They are far too long for anyone to read. Your post was over 200 lines long before I shortened it. If you cannot structure an arguement correctly, please ask your mother to supervise your retorts.

8 11 2009
mr.student

Good article and contains interesting links. Thank you for providing nice examples but I don’t understand why pick some teenager’s random pics and leaving out some good composition examples? In future i would love to read about some case studys and examples of different workflows.

8 11 2009
ghostdigital

@ mr.student

The artciles provided examples of good composition. This was a case study of sorts, showing poor examples of composition and giving information on how they could have been done better. Cheers for the input though.

8 11 2009
MM

Oh, and daniel. Have some real bad news.

One, your not in the Australian yellow pages. Which either means your lying about your name, or your location.

Two, well, this is the most disturbing at all. I tried finding you on the Monash University website. I searched for graduates. Sorry, but you weren’t there. No place to be found. Seems you lie about more than your clients, hmm?

Oh, and don’t give me any crap about a fake name. That would really sink you down.

8 11 2009
ghostdigital

@ MM
Well since you took your time to invade my personal life like that you might like to know a few things first. 1. Yellow Pages only lists businesses in Australia, not individuals. 2. Universities in Australia only publish students who opt to be published. Meaning, you can ask not to be published and not have your private information shared with the world. This option is selected by 99% of graduates for obvious reasons. Didn’t you find it interesting while you were stalking me, that such small number of people actually graduate in Australia?

in addition, I have never once revealed who my clients are or were,

Seems your just proved yourself to be a stalking child without a brain 3 times in a row there; not to mention all the other times you have proved it prior.

9 11 2009
MM

“Yellow Pages only lists businesses in Australia, not individuals.” Really, then how is there a search for people? I think I would of noticed if all the results were business names.

“in addition, I have never once revealed who my clients are or were,” We know that, you have excuses for everything.

About invading your personal life. I’m pretty sure you did that first. Commenting on everything I post at VC in a negative way, then going to my website and taking pictures without asking.

9 11 2009
ghostdigital

@ MM
Yellow Pages allows searches on some people if you nominate to be included. You truly have no idea.

“in addition, I have never once revealed who my clients are or were,” We know that, you have excuses for everything.


Well you said this the other day, “Seems you lie about more than your clients, hmm?”. Get your story straight you fool.

then going to my website and taking pictures without asking.


We already established that I don’t have to ask to use your photo. Please, grow a brain before submitting another senseless comment that shows exactly why I posted about you to begin with. You’re making yourself look like the fool you truly are.

9 11 2009
David W.
9 11 2009
ghostdigital

@ David W.
No it isn’t. Feel free tp keep stalking/searching for me.

9 11 2009
MM

Oh, and I’m sorry. I just have to point out this picture.
shoulder

What a piece of shit. Nice perspective! The woman in the background looks like a midget from The Wizard Of Oz. Way to go, and you say I’m a horrible photographer. Oh, don’t say you meant to do that. I would say you will sink even lower, but you’ve hit the limit.

9 11 2009
ghostdigital

@ MM
It’s called perspective, look it up. The girl in the photo is 5’1 while the male is 6’4. Also I am standing right behind the tall guy while she is 5 metres from us. If you had any clue about what you are talking about you would have worked that out yourself. Alas, you need everything explained to you.

9 11 2009
David W.

Why do you insist on bashing kids? Are they a threat to you? Are we that much better?

9 11 2009
ghostdigital

@ David W.
I don’t insist, I don’t force you stalkers to continue to post. Do you think that by posting so much that you may change my mind about your work? Your work is as it is. It is bad regardless of what your mouth does. It isn’t a personal attack, it’s purely an observation of the worked provided and the ego of “teachers”. In answer to your second question, they are no threat to anyone except themselves. In answer to your final question: No. These guys are not better than anyone. I must repeat that the work is terrible.

10 11 2009
MM

Nice reading, oh and that post you deleted, that is being sent out to everyone else.

10 11 2009
ghostdigital

@ MM

Nice reading, oh and that post you deleted, that is being sent out to everyone else.


Oh and who is “everyone”? You mean like the entire world? Just your own country? The whole industry? God you are a brainless swab.

Enjoy doing your online stalking, it will sure work out better for you than ‘design’, since you actually show an aptitude for stalking; unlike the vomit you call deisgn. Is this guy your idol by any chance? MM's idol

10 11 2009
Tino

Dude you just crossed the line there, not only was that unnecessary, it was unprofessional and down right horrible, you disgusting human being.

10 11 2009
ghostdigital

@ Tino
I agree.

15 11 2009
Rafael Guerra

The tips about photography are good, I liked the one with the perspective and the tones of black and white, but I still think once again you had a very strong point delivered in a very acid and unnecessary way. Based on the assumption of previous posts, I doubt you will change your “delivering” style, a true shame because I think you could contribute a lot with some of the posts.

15 11 2009
ghostdigital

@ Rafael Guerra

Thanks bud. In regards to who it was directed at and why… Well if he wants to stalk me then he can expect this publi critique often. Calling someones work and asking if they work there crosses the line. Since he wants to act like he is of age, then he can be of age and accept the critique like one.

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