View Poll Results: Does composition matter anymore?

Voters
412. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, I'd take the efforts to ensure I have both sound technical basics and composition.

    341 82.77%
  • Nah, photography is an art, those who can't understand my pictures aren't artistic.

    42 10.19%
  • What is composition?

    6 1.46%
  • I rather hang out with my friends/buddies, taking pictures is just a by-product.

    8 1.94%
  • Other (please comment)

    15 3.64%
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Thread: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

  1. #41

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardSeah View Post
    ALL pictures need to be composed. Good composition produces good pictures. Bad composition produces bad pictures. No composition produces no pictures.

    Simple as that.
    Or similarly, one could compose images mentally. Our dear friend does that all the time without the need for a camera.
    Last edited by photobum; 18th June 2008 at 08:02 AM.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Composition is just one part of creating a great picture. All the main ingredients must be taken into account. Subject + composition + timing + post production + attitude + soul...etc. Consider this, a well composed image but has no meaning still doesn't cut it. As the saying goes, "Garbage in, garbage out." I think this forum lacks critical and objective thinking and don't even mention being creative which leads to discussion like this. But then again, to each his own.

  3. #43
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by hazmee View Post
    Composition is just one part of creating a great picture. All the main ingredients must be taken into account. Subject + composition + timing + post production + attitude + soul...etc. Consider this, a well composed image but has no meaning still doesn't cut it. As the saying goes, "Garbage in, garbage out." I think this forum lacks critical and objective thinking and don't even mention being creative which leads to discussion like this. But then again, to each his own.
    well said..

    though i don't quite agree to the point on "lacking critical and objective thinking.. leading to a discussion like this"..

    of late there are many posts in the forum which pride themselves being "special" coz it's not "typical" (and thus "creative"?).. threadstarters of those posts usually use the argument of "that's how i like it" or something along that line in defense of their works..

    think threadstarter is trying to bring back everyone's attention to (traditional?) compositional rules and techniques that have remained through the ages (because they worked perhaps)..

  4. #44
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Breaking the rules (though i'd prefer to call them guides) is fine if you know where and why those are in place.

    Just insisting on doing it their own way without some further insight and refusing to acknowledge the viewpoints of others... well... it's a free world. *shrug*

    Don't lose sleep over it. Go out take more pictures.

  5. #45
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Of cos it does! Of cos you can try taking the whole scene and try to crop your pics to get your composition right but then again... you are a photographer not a PS editor!
    Canon 5D mkII|24-105 F4 IS L|70-200 F4 IS L|135 F2 L|580EX|

  6. #46

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by giantcanopy View Post
    Art is subjective ma

    But as to accepting critics is something else altogether. Different people react differently and take things differently. That cannot help. But the way of delivering and wording feedback itself is an art as well.

    As to composition, if there is non, then what is photography.

    Ryan
    Yup.. as long as you put some thought into the framing and it becomes deliberate, it's a composition.

  7. #47

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by yehosaphat View Post
    Of cos it does! Of cos you can try taking the whole scene and try to crop your pics to get your composition right but then again... you are a photographer not a PS editor!
    What about those who shoot a couple of shots and then stitch them together?

  8. #48

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssping83 View Post
    of late there are many posts in the forum which pride themselves being "special" coz it's not "typical" (and thus "creative"?).. threadstarters of those posts usually use the argument of "that's how i like it" or something along that line in defense of their works..

    think threadstarter is trying to bring back everyone's attention to (traditional?) compositional rules and techniques that have remained through the ages (because they worked perhaps)..
    not sure if taurean is saying that exactly. what i do think is that he is making a point that there are compositions and there are compositions.

    you can either have a good composition, a mediocre composition, or a bad composition. you don't need any rules, you don't need any guidelines.. as long as your composition works.

    just to add on to what you have mentioned above - that is not even a deliberate attempt to break the rules; the point is, 80 to 90% of the time the people who put up that defense do so plainly because they had not put thought into it, it seemed. it is just a convenient excuse in an attempt to "end the argument". after all, when you say it's personal, what are people going to reply to that? when you say "this is art, i'm trying something new so shut up", what can people even say?

    there is a difference between knowing what you are doing, and knowing what you are not. life doesn't work like heroes, where peter petrelli can go into a trance and still paint out great pictures. photography doesn't really work that way - i maintain that a good picture requires the photographer to know exactly what he is doing, a maintenance of his senses, and the full use of it.

    this is not to say that i agree with deliberate breaking of the rules. a recent thread posted by someone else where i was very rudely edged out and told to shut up (yet nothing is done about it, it is encouragement of diva behaviour) - every photo in that seemed to be jeering at all the traditional compositions, it was a mixture of overexposure, blurriness, poor composition, and yes, thought went into it. it had artistic merit, but at the same time i could not disagree that it was gimmicky. why deliberately go out of one's way to do all that? if one does it because the product is necessary, by all means, be my guest. if one seems to be doing that simply because he wants to be different, then one is no different from the attention seekers we get in our society.. and the product deserves less respect than it should have because of that point.

    there is a thin fine line that every photographer walks down - i think everyone here who has wanted to take photography seriously wants their own style. maybe that's why we try to be different. then my question is - is that really so important? there are other ways of being different then simply avoiding taking similar pictures, placing your objects on thirds, proper exposure.. if you think a certain way, you are certainly welcome to break the rules, given that you are well able to do it. but if you can do so, and do so simply because you want to be different, then pardon me while i laugh at you. because in the process of trying to break past mundaneness, you have become simply another prisoner of it all.
    Last edited by night86mare; 20th June 2008 at 01:34 PM.

  9. #49

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by hazmee View Post
    Composition is just one part of creating a great picture. All the main ingredients must be taken into account. Subject + composition + timing + post production + attitude + soul...etc. Consider this, a well composed image but has no meaning still doesn't cut it. As the saying goes, "Garbage in, garbage out." I think this forum lacks critical and objective thinking and don't even mention being creative which leads to discussion like this. But then again, to each his own.
    Well.. it's part of growing up in Singapore.. Creativity is stifled.

  10. #50

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    not sure if taurean is saying that exactly. what i do think is that he is making a point that there are compositions and there are compositions.

    you can either have a good composition, a mediocre composition, or a bad composition. you don't need any rules, you don't need any guidelines.. as long as your composition works.

    just to add on to what you have mentioned above - that is not even a deliberate attempt to break the rules; the point is, 80 to 90% of the time the people who put up that defense do so plainly because they had not put thought into it, it seemed. it is just a convenient excuse in an attempt to "end the argument". after all, when you say it's personal, what are people going to reply to that? when you say "this is art, i'm trying something new so shut up", what can people even say?

    there is a difference between knowing what you are doing, and knowing what you are not. life doesn't work like heroes, where peter petrelli can go into a trance and still paint out great pictures. photography doesn't really work that way - i maintain that a good picture requires the photographer to know exactly what he is doing, a maintenance of his senses, and the full use of it.

    this is not to say that i agree with deliberate breaking of the rules. a recent thread posted by someone else where i was very rudely edged out and told to shut up (yet nothing is done about it, it is encouragement of diva behaviour) - every photo in that seemed to be jeering at all the traditional compositions, it was a mixture of overexposure, bluriness, poor composition, and yes, thought went into it. it had artistic merit, but at the same time i could not disagree that it was gimmicky. why deliberately go out of one's way to do all that? if one does it because the product is necessary, by all means, be my guest. if one seems to be doing that simply because he wants to be different, then one is no different from the attention seekers we get in our society.. and the product deserves less respect than it should have because of that point.
    Well, if it's a composition, then he/she should be able to explain the motivations behind it.

  11. #51

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon View Post
    Well, if it's a composition, then he/she should be able to explain the motivations behind it.
    well, there are people here who give comments aplenty like..

    "i like it, but i don't know why"..

    so effectively, you are going to end up with people who say

    "i did it, but i don't know why"..

  12. #52
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    i've been criticised quite heavily with respect to my compositioning and realised thats a big problem with my art. so i'm trying to improve my composition skills with the use of some of those guidelines (rule of thirds, golden mean, golden spiral etc..). so for me, yes. composition does matter. no number of L lenses could make your picture look good. neither does crediting your brand name to your picture means that automatically classifies it as a good picture. people could only be patronising you in that effect.

  13. #53

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    I believe composition is definitely important when it comes to photography. I must admit sometimes I go get surprises when I view my pictures. Sometimes the snapshots looks better than those that i delibrately compose. lol. maybe that's why i am still an amatuer. lol. I also learn from these "surprises" on how i can frame and compose my shots in future. here is where photography is so interesting.

    But that is provided we have the time to think. At times, we don't really have much time to compose when the opportunity arises.

    Sometimes someone post a pic and only expect good comments although they indicate "feel free to comment". But i guess every opinion is important as there are different pple with different perspectives. we should always accept comments with an open mind and accentuate the positive aspsects rather than y someone is criticising on my pic.

    just my 2 cents worth...

  14. #54

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    but i guess that is the right spirit u protray... which is to take feedbacks as something positive! that alone is the learning spirit man.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrchua View Post
    i've been criticised quite heavily with respect to my compositioning and realised thats a big problem with my art. so i'm trying to improve my composition skills with the use of some of those guidelines (rule of thirds, golden mean, golden spiral etc..). so for me, yes. composition does matter. no number of L lenses could make your picture look good. neither does crediting your brand name to your picture means that automatically classifies it as a good picture. people could only be patronising you in that effect.

  15. #55
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahguan View Post
    results matter most! who care if u dun compose, suck technically, and missed the moment but somehow still manage to get shot that works? lomo anyone?

    i once went bowling with a colleague who swing the ball horribly, but he consistently get above 200pts!

    of coz u get higher chances if u do all 3, and people will look at your pic and appreciate that u were fully in control
    Ahh, but it depends on what picture story he wants to take. I haven't try lomo, but that's just a technique. If you don't compose, use your technique properly and missed the right moment, what kind of photo will you get? Not one that will work, i suppose. Take a look at Crystallou's photo here. Tell me that composition is not important.

    Your colleague might swing the ball horribly to you, but that's his style and composition. It works for him.
    "Photography is an austere and blazing poetry of the real" -Ansel Adams

  16. #56
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    well, there are people here who give comments aplenty like..

    "i like it, but i don't know why"..
    Such a comment does give some valuable feedback about the effect the picture has on an observer, even if it is not understood why. This is by far better than comments like "your horizon is tilted" or "the subject is centered" which only focus on following rules for the sake of following rules, regardless whether they help the picture or not.

    Otherwise, you end up with something like the education system here: students who are good at regurgitating and scoring high in exams ("yes, the horizon is straight, and the rule of thirds is folowed - 100 marks"), but not so good in thinking independently or creatively. You find this mentality all over the place, e.g. in expressions like "the correct way to ...", "correct framing", "correct exposure", - as if there would be only one "right" solution, and any alternative possibility would be automatically bad/wrong.

    In the age of cameras that refuse to trigger the shutter unless everyone in the picture is smiling, just wait until cameras insist that you follow composition rules ("Error: cannot take picture with a centered horizon. Please reframe and try again.") Will THAT help photography?

  17. #57
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    Such a comment does give some valuable feedback about the effect the picture has on an observer, even if it is not understood why. This is by far better than comments like "your horizon is tilted" or "the subject is centered" which only focus on following rules for the sake of following rules, regardless whether they help the picture or not.

    Otherwise, you end up with something like the education system here: students who are good at regurgitating and scoring high in exams ("yes, the horizon is straight, and the rule of thirds is folowed - 100 marks"), but not so good in thinking independently or creatively. You find this mentality all over the place, e.g. in expressions like "the correct way to ...", "correct framing", "correct exposure", - as if there would be only one "right" solution, and any alternative possibility would be automatically bad/wrong.

    In the age of cameras that refuse to trigger the shutter unless everyone in the picture is smiling, just wait until cameras insist that you follow composition rules ("Error: cannot take picture with a centered horizon. Please reframe and try again.") Will THAT help photography?
    Perhaps you might want to share how you relate to a person when you find his/her tilting horizons are just too disconcerting to look at.

    "Good, at least you think differently and you don't see a straight line as it is?"

    Its always easy to blame the system for who you are rather than looking at oneself to find out what you can get from it.

  18. #58

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    I think this topic is very subjective and literally to each his own! With certain people's levels of expertise in post-production, composition might not matter...HDR for example is a very good example of how composition has almost absolutely no value. Independent shots for the HDR processing might not be worth a single look...!

    I think one of them had replied mentioning how composition is just one of the parameters. Very true. Education is the key. If its really about people who are posting images that do not make sense, its a different question and this thread does not address that issue. A lot of people in here are trying to learn. I made the jump from manual to digital very recently (under a year) and realised how difficult it can be getting to terms with technology. On the other hand, I can see that putting in a little bit of effort to learn photshop can ease the pain of coming to terms with all the buttons on a digital camera!

    All said, I think any photographer will be really happy when the composition he is looking for works and the image from the camera is very close to what he was looking for. I think thats a feeling only composition can give!

  19. #59

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    This is a rather strong claim. Can you look into the mind of such people? Maybe your idea of composition just differs from theirs?

    Analysing composition is mainly an aid to sort out and rationalise your own feelings about a picture. Your own analysis is not absolute. You cannot impose it on others. When it comes to the point that someone is taken to task for ignoring any perceived rules, something is wrong.

    Ok, my bad for over-generalising.
    Like you said, when one gives C&C, one gives it based on own feeling about a picture. the feeling results from? Personal experiences, knowledge.... etc, many factors. So if the feeling comes as a result of a failed composition, one can bring that up as a point in the C&C.
    No?



    How do you know that such feedback is ignored? Opinions, even differing opinions, can be registered and valued without the need for "followup action" (beyond maybe a simple "thank you"). Do you expect people to hastily edit/change their pictures to satisfy the whims and fancies of critics (and let others dictate what their pictures look like)? That would be utterly disrespectful - only to be topped by those "helpful" individuals who, unasked, take the picture and post photoshopped versions back into the thread.

    Alright, my bad for over-generalising again. But there are many examples in the galleries. I do not expect people to hastily change or edit their picture. But they can always do a follow up post later if they felt things should be changed, and keep the original for others to see what went wrong and why certain comments and critique were posted.

  20. #60
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
    Ok, my bad for over-generalising.
    Like you said, when one gives C&C, one gives it based on own feeling about a picture. the feeling results from? Personal experiences, knowledge.... etc, many factors.
    or the education system. So much for generalisation.

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