photography ii. // composition + "seeing it"

hiya friends!

I'm excited to bring you the second part of the photography series [for an introduction, click here]. Before I delve into inspiration + different types of photography, I wanted to take a minute to talk a little bit about composition first. It's the only skill I'm going to go over that sort of crosses into the technical side of photo, but I think it's really, really important.

Composition is something that makes or breaks a photo--you can have all the settings correct, be in a beautiful location, there's a sun setting, etc. etc. etc., but if you don't take a second and set up your photo, think about it before taking it....when you look at it later, something will be off.

The biggest thing to remember about composition is the rule of thirds--setting up a photo like there's a three by three grid over the scene



My favorite video tutorial about the rule of thirds is this one, which does a great job showing different ways to use that grid, as well as the importance of strong lines in your photos. 

The more you shoot, the more you look to set up a shot, for strong lines and patterns, AND, also, break the rules that I just mentioned. 

Below, I have a couple of photos I took of a homestead // ranch recently--when I looked through them, I was struck by the lines // composition--check it out. 



half + half sort of photo--with something taking up the bottom or top of a frame--is always good, especially for instagram. 


recently, i've been playing with shooting through things--using objects, or people, to frame subjects. it wasn't exactly an a+ job here [ideally, the fence would frame the cows], but it creates nice lines, especially here where the fence is both brown AND black 


putting something in the middle of a frame--another instagram inspired sort of composition 


i used the lake and mountains, here, to create a horizontal thirds, with claire to break it up. 


here, i used the porch of one house to frame another one--it draws your eye immediately towards the second house, and the porch supports, combined with the horizon, makes a nice little grid, of sorts. 


more framing. one of the things that i like about this photo is that the fence with the thin, little lines [and the mountains] are framed by the bigger fence slats, which looks really nice to me. 
 

this is one of my favorite photos. while it's super simple, there are so many lines here--diagonal ones on the left, then straight ones, and then the fence that leads out to the horizon. it's so nice, and would have made a great set up for a subject. 


another simple one that i think works really well. you've got the rule of thirds going horizontal, and there's kind of a vertical rule of thirds there as well--add the fence, and the cisterns going different ways, and it's an interesting composition. my favorite part, however, is the ladder going diagonal on the lefthand side--it's an unexpected little detail that adds to the scene. 

One of the things that I've learned over time is that the more you shoot, the more you "see" composition--the more your eyes become trained to find symmetry + patterns, and the more you think about it--both unconsciously [setting up a rule of thirds, aesthetically pleasing sort of shot] and consciously [moving around, trying to break rules, shooting something differently]. It takes time, but once you can 'see it'? It's a superpower. Use it wisely. 

thanks for reading, friends! part three up soon 


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