Learn Photography Composition

Dan Eitreim

January 21, 2015

This is a bit of a misnomer because you can’t actually learn digital photography as digital is just the medium you use to record the images. What needs to happen is learning the fundamentals of photography. The principles of photography haven’t changed, they have just got easier to record with digital. But for arguments sake lets just use the term, learn digital photography.

What are the fundamentals of photography? This boils down to a few things that form a foundation for your photo taking skills. If you understand these then you can build on them and take your photography further.

1. Understand aperture

Aperture controls the light entering the camera through the lens. It’s measured by f-stops which range from f1.2 all the way up to f32. Light is the essence of photography so being able to control it is key to your learning process. The larger the aperture or f-stop the smaller the aperture and vice versa. By controlling the aperture you are able to control the depth of field. Depth of field is the amount of an image that is in focus. When you look at a portrait image that has a beautifully blurred out background it shows a very narrow depth of field with just the person’s face in focus. A wide depth of field can be seen in landscape photos where the whole photo is in focus. Competency in using your aperture will take you to the next level in you photography.

2. Understand Shutter speed

If you can master this quickly your creativity will increase quickly. Shutter speed controls how movement is captured. If the shutter speed is too slow movement is accentuated. If too long then it is frozen. Now, neither of these is wrong as you use them creativity under different circumstances. Those beautiful milky smooth waterfalls are the perfect example of using a slow shutter speed. The gymnast in the air frozen in time is achieved through a fast shutter speed.

3. ISO

Together with aperture and shutter speed ISO forms the exposure triangle. Get these three right and you will compose the most perfectly exposed photos every time. ISO is the sensitivity of your digital sensor to light. The more sensitive you set your ISO the less light you need to get a good exposure. The only downside is that the higher you set your ISO the more digital noise appears in the images. Digital noise is the flecks of colour in the darker areas of an image, like the grainy effect seen in film photos.

4. Composition

The art of composing a great image is the next step after the more technical points one to three. This is where you start with your creative thinking. Developing you eye so that you see things that will add impact to your images. Knowing where to place your subject in an image is vital. Take for example the rule of thirds. Imagine a tic-tac-toe or noughts and crosses grid superimposed on your viewfinder or LCD screen. It divides the image into thirds. Where these lines intersect is where you place your subject, the focal point or a persons eyes when shoot a headshot. The aspects such as getting in closer to the subject, excluding clutter or changing your angle slightly are all important when composing. Then there are lines. Look for lines that are horizontal, vertical or diagonal in a scene as these draw the eye to a point. If you can place a focal point at a two thirds intersection and then have a line ending there, it draws the eye to that focal point or subject.

These three fundamentals are not comprehensive and give you a starting point when you start to learn digital photography. If you can grasp these points then you are on your way to becoming a better photographer. Creativity can only begin when you start using the fundamentals to your advantage. A thinking photographer is a more creative photographer. Happy shooting!

Do you want to learn more about photography in a digital world? I’ve just completed a brand new e-course delivered by e-mail. Download it here for free by clicking here: www.21steps2perfectphotos.com To learn how you can take your photography from ordinary to outstanding click here – www.21steps2perfectphotos.com/21steps.htmWayne Turner has been teaching photography for 25 years and has written three books on photography.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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