Composition, creativity etc. Part I

One of the questions that are asked a lot, and hardly ever answered is about composition and creativity.
The reason why there is little to no attention to it can be explained rather simple, it’s something that’s not easy to explain. In my workshops I always have a lot of information about composition and creativity because I strongly believe that it lies in those areas where a standard snapshot is transformed into a story, and in reality we are of course story tellers. However I also feel that I can explain technical stuff to everyone, but “seeing” is something completely different. In other words, everyone will understand that if you press the shutter an image is captures, however not everyone will see the image the way it will be interesting. So today some attention to this part of photography.
The coming days/weeks (depending on your responses) I will be posting several blog posts with sample images all discussing this topic. Feel free to ask questions or add images to the threads, this way I can find examples and explain the techniques behind them.

 

Do remember that this is my personal vision, with creative, humor etc. it’s always very person related, so don’t take everything as being the 100% truth, opinions will vary (and good that they do) however I hope that there will be a lot of elements that will help you improve your own work.

 

Story telling elements
Let’s take a look at the first image in this blog post.
It was shot at sea world Orlando, and there are a lot of snapshots in my collection, I was there as a tourist of course first place, however I also tried to tell a story with some images, this is one of them. By including the trainer of the whale and the whale in the frame (both waving) you get a story telling image which for me lifts it way above the standard shots of the whale and trainer. The composition however is also important, framing the trainer and the whale for me needed to be in line as you can see here. By adding those two together we have an image that is different from most of the others in my collection and is much more dear to me than the others.

Setting a mood by including people
I love street photography, I love people photography and I love … well to be short almost all kinds of Photography.
However I also strongly feel that an image should have something unique. I could have shot this image (Barcelona) without the girl and the seagull and ended up with just a standard snapshot of this view. However by including the girl in the front and the seagull it makes the image look totally different. I do have to add that both elements were NOT coached, and there is of course always an element of luck in play, although I have to be honest you can also force luck to be part of your shooting style by being patient and able to respond quickly.

 

Same goes for the following image (Los Angeles)
I just waited long enough for the women and girl to pass the crossing and shot the image, without the two people it would have been just a standard image, adding these two elements made it much more interesting for me.

 

Same here, I could have just shot the castle, but by adding one element makes the images a lot more interesting.
 Including non people
Sometimes people simply are not available, so you will have to find something else that can add to the story. In this case I found these small gravestones which I included in the shot of the castle, by choosing a low angle and shooting towards the castle I got a nice combination of the two elements. You can of course choose to set the focus on the castle or on the stones (always shoot double), but I choose this image where the focus is on the stones and the castle is the out of focus part in the far distance. The added geese are a nice bonus. 

 Tomorrow some more information including model shots……

 

I’m always reading (and responding the comments) these give me the ideas for future blog posts so make sure to let me know if you like to see this series develop, or if you want to see something else.