Photography Composition ~ Knowledge or Luck?

Photographic composition, it seems so random and unpredictable. Out of many photographs, some just jump out and exemplify good composition. So the question is, why? Is it random chance, luck?

Here are two photos of the United States Capitol Building. There’s nothing wrong with the second image, but look how much more dramatic the top image appears.

To truly improve at photographic composition we need to understand the elements, ingredients, and ideas behind good photography composition. We need to take that knowledge and store it in our mind while we explore through our camera. Then we need to think our way through the various available conditions and create an image that benefits from the most compositional components available.

This is exactly what I did with the top image. After doing some exploring and looking, I stacked as many photo compositional elements together in my favor and essentially forced the top image to be far superior over the bottom image. The bottom image, basically a snapshot, has far fewer compositional positives going for it and simply does not have the “Wow” factor achieved from a thoughtful photo composition.

When we are prepared with compositional knowledge, we selectively remove layers of randomness and cut to the images that will look best. To some, good photo compositions may seem to come randomly from luck. To the knowledgable, good photography composition is a matter of being prepared to make the most of every opportunity. It’s all about using this knowledge then seeing, planning, and executing solid images without much guesswork.

If you’re ready to put compositional knowledge to work for you and stop hoping your images will appear well composed, join us for the next Photography Composition eClass. Your images will never be the same.