top of page

How do professional photographers organize photos?

Composition is to show things in the strongest, most efficient way, no matter what your subject. In many cases, this means avoiding clutter and confusion between the different elements present.

How you visually compose your images is as important as their technical quality. But this competence is gained both by experience and by learning. It involves you in the use of lines, forms, and tonality areas in your image, regardless of what the elements are, so that they connect efficiently, with some sort of satisfactory geometry.

Composition is what photography shares with drawing, painting, and fine arts in general.

The main difference is that things must be done properly so that the subject is still facing you and making the best use of what is present at the time.

The camera works quickly, even if the darkroom and the computer make other compositions possible. Oftentimes, good composition is simply to look more closely through the viewfinder.

How often have you seen a photograph with people's feet cut off or a pot of flowers growing from someone's head?

We have all heard that the rules are there to be violated, because they encourage outcomes that follow them slavishly, but offer nothing else.

As Edward Weston once wrote, "Reading the rules of composition before firing is like reading the laws of gravity before going for a walk."

Of course, it's easy to say that when you already have an experienced eye for taking pictures, but the guides are useful if you're just the beginning. Practice critical comparisons between images that "work" at the structural level and those that don't. Discuss these issues with others, photographers as well as non-photographers.

When a topic allows it, it is always advisable to take multiple photos – maybe the obvious versions first, then some with small changes in the way the elements are juxtaposed, etc., simplifying and reinforcing more and more what your image expresses or shows.

You must become accustomed to moving your body further when taking a photo. Too often, people are just going to stand in front of a subject and shoot from the height of their eyes.

Stand down, move to your side, and hold onto a tree! You will be amazed to see how many small movements can radically change the composition. You're more important than the camera.

The composition can play an important role in the style and originality of your images. Certain photographers go for staggered constructions which add to the strangeness of the content of the image.

Compositional photography is almost as diverse as compositional music or words and may improve subject matter, theme, and style. A good composition will help the audience to ‘read' the photo the way you wanted it and successfully communicate your ideas. Each photo you take involves you in a composing decision, even if it's just where to install the camera or when to push the button.

11 views0 comments


bottom of page