Composition Question(s)


johnriley

Link Posted 01/03/2018 - 16:43
If we want to explore composition, my best suggestion is to visit an art gallery and spend some time thinking about the paintings, which ones we like and why. Time well spent and my granddaughters have been amazed by some of them, including how huge the paintngs can be.
Best regards, John

Aitch53

Link Posted 01/03/2018 - 16:51
johnriley wrote:
If we want to explore composition, my best suggestion is to visit an art gallery and spend some time thinking about the paintings, which ones we like and why. Time well spent and my granddaughters have been amazed by some of them, including how huge the paintngs can be.

Why not go to a gallery and do the same for photographs? They have been around long enough to have developed their own aesthetic (probably from painting and so forth), which would be more relevant.

Unless you consider paintings etc to be superior in some way. In which case, an oil painting set would be a lot cheaper than a K-1 (other Pentax cameras are available).
SteveH!

Some people call me 'strange'.
I prefer 'unconventional'.
But I'm willing to compromise and accept 'eccentric'.

johnriley

Link Posted 01/03/2018 - 17:13
Basically because the inspiration for photographic composition starts with paintings. Art is art.

It's a fair point though, up to a point. Photography exhibitions tend to be of a very different nature to conventional galleries, usually a long way from the basics, which I thought we were talking about here.

There was an exhibition of David Bailey images in Aberystwyth a few years ago, and I was actually quite disappointed at the poor quality of the printing. These were iconic images that IMHO were better in a well printed book. It confuses many beginners who look at famous photographers' work and realise that whatever it holds that gives it its magic, it wouldn't pass muster in a beginner's competition at the average camera club. The things are just worlds apart.

I upset the lady in the Pentax Gallery in London once when I told her I didn't think much of the prints on the wall - montages made by sticking bits of prints on top of other prints and they were all peeling off. But I digress, and feel free to say whatever you feel about my images!
Best regards, John

bforbes

Link Posted 01/03/2018 - 20:13
You hear a lot of photographers saying "the rules are there to be broken", and it's true that some of their images create an impact. I wonder though if the impact is just because it's different rather than it's a good image.
Barrie
Too Old To Die Young
.
Pentax K1 K5-IIS K-01 K20D A50/2 A50/1.7 DA10-17 DA18-250 DA18-135 DA18-55 DA300 DA40 DA50-135 DA50-200 DA55-300 DA70 F35-70 DFA150-450 FA20-35 FA100 FA135 FA35 FA28 FA43 FA50 FA77 K55/1.8 M135/3.5 M200/4 M28/3.5 M28/2.8 M40/2.8 Q 01 02 MX-1 I-10 Sigma 15 24 105 180 8-16 10-20 17-35 17-50/2.8 24-70 400/5.6MF Tamron 70-200/2.8 17/3.5MF 24/2.5MF 28/2.5MF 90/2.5MF


http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/barrieforbes

Abe_Normal

Link Posted 02/03/2018 - 00:45
I wonder if being accustomed to driving / cycling on one side of the road has any influence.

Being used to cycling on the left, I can more easily imagine myself in the photographer's shoes in the second (reversed) image.

redbusa99

Link Posted 02/03/2018 - 11:27
the second seems to have a more natural flow to me and I would have flipped it if I had taken it. right handed and left eye strongest, according to my spectacle prescription
K3 II and the odd lens or 2

Flickr
ppg

johnha

Link Posted 02/03/2018 - 11:33
redbusa99 wrote:
the second seems to have a more natural flow to me and I would have flipped it if I had taken it. right handed and left eye strongest, according to my spectacle prescription

Abe_Normal wrote:
I wonder if being accustomed to driving / cycling on one side of the road has any influence.

Being used to cycling on the left, I can more easily imagine myself in the photographer's shoes in the second (reversed) image.

I'm used to seeing gates hinged on the left and bolted/chained on the right (no idea if this is actually likely). In this case it's immaterial as each image suggests travelling in different directions towards the gate (i.e. both suggest you could be travelling on the left).
PPG Flickr

Aitch53

Link Posted 02/03/2018 - 16:11
John. In general you make a couple of good points. However, couple of thoughts…

johnriley wrote:
Basically because the inspiration for photographic composition starts with paintings. Art is art.

Yes, photography, in the area of composition, derives a lot from paintings. It is, after all, another branch of the arts. However, it has developed in its own way since then. To keep going back and taking anything more than the basics which are, I think, already known, and you risk ending up just copying paintings. In which case, why bother with photography?

iirc, there is a woman photographer, one of whose projects is to reproduce old masters as photographs. Why? The old masters already exist. I suspect in that case it’s just novelty. Plus of course, with some of the art being made these days, you stand the chance of producing some right ropey images.

Then there is the ‘LOMO Philosophy’ explained in a book I got free with some magazine or other. Producing ropey pictures with second-rate equipment is apparently an homage to the early photographers who couldn’t produce the sort of high IQ quality images we have today due to the primitiveness of their gear. You can probably guess how I feel about that idea! And how the early photographers would probably feel too.

A further question would be where does ‘art’ get these basics from? Are they built into the human brain in some way? Derived/evolved from some ingrained survival instinct?
johnriley wrote:
It's a fair point though, up to a point. Photography exhibitions tend to be of a very different nature to conventional galleries, usually a long way from the basics, which I thought we were talking about here.

True. Maybe gallery visits of both kinds should be for inspirational purposes rather than basic education.
johnriley wrote:
There was an exhibition of David Bailey images in Aberystwyth a few years ago, and I was actually quite disappointed at the poor quality of the printing. These were iconic images that IMHO were better in a well printed book. It confuses many beginners who look at famous photographers' work and realise that whatever it holds that gives it its magic, it wouldn't pass muster in a beginner's competition at the average camera club. The things are just worlds apart.

Well, there you have the problem with reproducability. A painting exists as a single thing - if it looks rough, it is. Many prints can be made from a negative (or tranny, if you can find some Ilfochrome paper) or file. And the final print depends on more than just the source.

Unless Bailey OKed the prints as what he wanted them to look like?
johnriley wrote:

I upset the lady in the Pentax Gallery in London once when I told her I didn't think much of the prints on the wall - montages made by sticking bits of prints on top of other prints and they were all peeling off. But I digress, and feel free to say whatever you feel about my images!

I have seen paintings in galleries that were dirty and crumbling. Heck, there’s a Leonardo fresco that’s falling apart because he ‘knew best’ and used the wrong materials, and Lichtenstein’s Whaam! in the Tate is filthy! Or was the last time I saw it. Bad workmanship/maintenance is not restricted to photography.

johnriley wrote:
But I digress, and feel free to say whatever you feel about my images!

Yeah, it’s partly my fault. But threads do tend to drift and it can be interesting and makes us all think. I hope.

Sorry for going on at length a bit. And the delay in replying – real life intervened. Including a very slow and careful walk via Staines bridge to Sainsbury’s!
SteveH!

Some people call me 'strange'.
I prefer 'unconventional'.
But I'm willing to compromise and accept 'eccentric'.

Roshni

Link Posted 05/03/2018 - 06:11
womble wrote:
Just so everyone can see what we mean:

The original image:



snowing (2) par Kris Lockyear, on ipernity

The image flipped:



snowing (backwards) par Kris Lockyear, on ipernity

The image is good both ways. If you flip as well as non-flip is good to go.
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davidtrout

Link Posted 05/03/2018 - 10:42
I was going to comment on this but most of the things I intended to express have now already been said so I'll simply say that Kris's wintery lane photograph works either way for me.
As for rules of composition just ask yourself when you view an image, painting or photograph: Does it look right, has it balance, or does it seem awkward?
David
PPG: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/davidtrout

Aitch53

Link Posted 05/03/2018 - 11:35
davidtrout wrote:
I was going to comment on this but most of the things I intended to express have now already been said so I'll simply say that Kris's wintery lane photograph works either way for me.
As for rules of composition just ask yourself when you view an image, painting or photograph: Does it look right, has it balance, or does it seem awkward?
David

And why. You need to know why so that you can avoid making the same mistake again. Assuming it's one of your own pictures.

Which is, I suppose, why I asked the original questions.
SteveH!

Some people call me 'strange'.
I prefer 'unconventional'.
But I'm willing to compromise and accept 'eccentric'.

Liney

Link Posted 11/03/2018 - 02:03
I'm left handed, and read from left to right, but with regard to the image in question I'm not bothered which way round it is flipped. Generally speaking the images that attract my attention most are the ones where your focus can wander over the entire image and discover something new wherever you look. Images where there is a single point which your eye is drawn to and held there don't interest me, which is probably why I don't take much notice of advertisements.

The image in question has great depth of focus, so all points are clear as you would expect to see them in real life. There is an even spread of points to notice, from the fence posts to the gate, and even off into the trees. The tyre prints raise a question of how they appeared and why anyone would go out on a day like this, and the road past the gate makes you wonder what is down there.

As David Trout mentioned, it has balance, and it looks right.

Gwyn

Link Posted 11/03/2018 - 11:33
I am right-handed, and right eyed, and prefer the non flipped image.
My left-handed, right eyed son agreed. My right handed left eyed husband disagreed.
My Chinese sister-in-law liked them both equally. My brother wondered what I was on about.

Aitch53

Link Posted 11/03/2018 - 11:50
Gwyn wrote:
I am right-handed, and right eyed, and prefer the non flipped image.
My left-handed, right eyed son agreed. My right handed left eyed husband disagreed.
My Chinese sister-in-law liked them both equally. My brother wondered what I was on about.

Buy your brother a drink and tell him not to worry.

The Chinese sister-in-law point is interesting, especially if her first written language is traditional Chinese - written top to bottom and right to left.

You know, with a large enough sample size and considering all the variables, somebody could probably get a PhD out of womble's picture!
SteveH!

Some people call me 'strange'.
I prefer 'unconventional'.
But I'm willing to compromise and accept 'eccentric'.
Last Edited by Aitch53 on 11/03/2018 - 11:50

JohnX

Link Posted 12/03/2018 - 14:56
Interesting discussion.

I'm right handed and right eye dominant and I prefer the second.

Not sure what makes the difference, but for me the first image is just 'wrong'; it's discordant. I don't so much follow the line of the fence as feel 'pushed' by it towards the gate, which is itself 'wrong' because it's crammed over to the left of the scene.

The second image, however, seems to me to be 'right'; the fence line gently steers me toward the gate, which being over to the right of the scene is in the correct position, and the scene has more balance.

Could be my inherent 'left to right' bias?
Last Edited by JohnX on 12/03/2018 - 14:57
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