Every photograph has a story behind it. It means something to the photographer. There would have been incidents, anecdotes or thoughts that led to that image. The gap arises when the photographs fail to convey these stories. This is the medium we have to convey our thought and experiences. So, is it not obvious, that our photographs should also tell these stories?
“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” – John F. Kennedy.
I have come across various schools of thoughts on different topics that some of them are now like widely propagated myths. Are these really myths or just my mind fighting against itself? Has the whole photography fraternity got it wrong and just a handful of photographers can understand the truth or is it me who is confused? Here is a list of top facts that I consider to be myths.
(Nikon Df with Nikkor 50mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO 100, +2 EV compensation on center-weighted metering)
Leonardo Bonacci (Fibonacci) was an Italian mathematician, sometime in the middle ages. He is best known for his sequence of numbers called Fibonacci Sequence. This is a series of numbers where each consecutive number is a sum of the prior two numbers (1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55….. and so on). Though these numbers had been known to Indian mathematicians many centuries earlier, they were introduced to Europe by Fibonacci and caught the media attention some years back with the publication of Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code. Painters have long used this sequence knowingly or unknowingly to create beautiful artworks and now photographers over the past few decades are understanding to use it.
This article is in continuation with Composition Rules – Part I and covers some more rules of compositions.
Humans in general love company. It is once again the evolutionary aspect in play. Since ages, people have lived in groups, hunted in groups and even fought wars in groups. Our subconscious finds comfort when other humans are around. It is therefore natural that presence of humans adds an interesting element to most photographs. Though not all genres of photography blend well with human element. Sometimes they can also be a distraction. Very careful use of human element can add drama to otherwise mundane photographs.
(Tea plantation with workers picking tea leaves at a distance)
Composition Rules or Clichés, as I like to call them, have been used by artists since long and for the last many decades, photographers have also started using them to their advantage, calling them the ‘rules of composition’. These play on the creative side of our brain and guide our subconscious mind across a photograph. Some of these are highly debated ones. Proceed at your own risk. Risk of loosing your own way of looking at things!
Some objects that have a a difference in color, contrast or texture, tend to associate with one another. When seen from far or from periphery of our vision, they form structures or lines. Sometimes there may be shapes in an image that are actually lines. These lines tend to lead a viewer’s eyes from one point to another. Culture and education also modifies this to an extent. Leading lines is one of the commonly used clichés that almost always works.
What is a strong composition? Most of the advanced photographers who come to me end up asking this question.
In simple words – A strong composition is the one that puts your idea clearly. Ansel Adams has said, ‘There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.’