Digital Photography Composition and its Elements

"Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera."― Henri Cartier-Bresson

Good Composition combines the artistic with the technical to create, produce and grab attention with your photographs.  There is never been a case where two people with identical camera have had the same approach to snap the same photograph, sure you learn the basics but everyone interprets a subject in a photograph very differently. 

Today, we cover some key elements that will help you improve your composition in your photography. (FYI this will also help your cinematography)...

 Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park- New York

Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park- New York

Clarity and simplicity are the very important keys to good composition. It is most important to be aware of your surroundings, walk a couple of times around the same place and at different times of the day. See what captures and inspires you to make a photograph. So before you press-on that shutter release concentrate on the composition as a whole not just on the subject. 

Make sure ask yourself, Have I really looked outside of my viewfinder?, what is this scene telling me?, If I snap this photo how will it take away from my subject?

 Couple grabbing a snack at a convince stand in Time Square, New York

Couple grabbing a snack at a convince stand in Time Square, New York

The primary visual elements in composition that is quickly over looked is geometry, color, light and shadows. Everywhere you look there is lines and shapes. There is also color, texture, contrast, and hues. Light and shadows will help you paint your photos. Shadows create contrast and dramatic scenes, while light illuminates and highlights subjects or objects. 

On the photo above we have rectangles, squares, circles, vertical and horizontal lines. We also have colors,  contrast, texture and hues. Then finally we have light, on the upper corners of the photo you see that the sky is diffused because its a cloudy day, but to the down right corner where our subjects are buying snacks, we can see that they have sunlight coming from the right of the photo highlighting them in a very subtle way, which creates a really nice shadow and contrast on her and his coats. 

 Lightner Museum Halway - St. Augustine, FL 

Lightner Museum Halway - St. Augustine, FL 

When placing and arranging these elements together we want to create and produce a three-dimensional reality or perception in a two dimensional photo. Secondary elements, like sharpness, perspectives, and timing (especially with moving subjects), and visual balance will also partake in the composition on the photographs that you make. 

Newton Park Boardwalk Winter Garden FL

Lastly go out there and take it all in, see it first with your eyes, see the patterns, and forms of your scenes and subjects. Once that you have the perspective of your elements, Then look through the viewfinder or the back of the lcd and snap that photo. 

 People of New York walking down Manhatan 47th Street - New York

People of New York walking down Manhatan 47th Street - New York

With practice your personal composition in photographs will determine how effectively your photographs communicate with your audience . Keep shooting and have fun and enjoy the good times.