View Poll Results: Does composition matter anymore?

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  • 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. #141
    Senior Member egnaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    I prefer take 1 nice pic then 10 lousy pic. (waste my shutter count)
    Life is like Photography, to improve, you have to keep shooting!

  2. #142
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    A bigger trend i noticed is engaging in *exciting* color splashed HDRed images to an almost cult emphasis and as beginning step to learning photography , rather than to start with taking pictures that attempts to communicate at a different level.

    But with respect, I've not made any value judgements, i just care if a shot is enjoyable

    ryan

  3. #143
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    I personally do not believe in a photograph or picture that is 80% PPed 20% original be it done using PS or HDR or wat nots. It is just isnt real anymore... how much is too much? I dont know. But for me? My purpose of PP is to make up for my mistakes when I first intended to take the actual shot and to reproduce to as close as what the original scene looks like.
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  4. #144

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    i wonder as well..

    many of the damn bloody nice pictures we see today are but PPed. what for, then? it is not real. nice is nice.. but what is the point?

    someone enlighten me why everybody is PPing their photos to make it look awesome but fake.

    am i the only one puzzled over this?

  5. #145
    Member Reim1o's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    If your object is boring as hell, no matter how good you are in composing, you just can't polish turd.
    Lots of photos break all composition rules and still turned out really good and artistic. Off course most of the times you need to know the rules before you know how to break it

  6. #146

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by yehosaphat View Post
    I personally do not believe in a photograph or picture that is 80% PPed 20% original be it done using PS or HDR or wat nots. It is just isnt real anymore... how much is too much? I dont know. But for me? My purpose of PP is to make up for my mistakes when I first intended to take the actual shot and to reproduce to as close as what the original scene looks like.
    I second that!
    Taking photograph(s) is to capture what you see through ur eyes on film/paper/file.

    Beauty in its simplest form

  7. #147

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Composition is...as what I'd observed...

    After the photos had been taken...the author/creator of the image start to write a very impressive and illustrative....composition...or

    start to add a fanciful borders....or

    an oversize watermark to be smack in the centre of that pic. for that..." this image is my creation feeling."

  8. #148
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by tootboink View Post
    i wonder as well..

    many of the damn bloody nice pictures we see today are but PPed. what for, then? it is not real. nice is nice.. but what is the point?

    someone enlighten me why everybody is PPing their photos to make it look awesome but fake.

    am i the only one puzzled over this?
    the really good ones doesn't look fake, or they are so good that whether real or fake does not matter.

    basically the approach for different genre is different. you can't expect a press photographer to agree with and do the same as a salon photographer, they do things differently and they ACHIEVE things differently. common moral parameters apply to all human beings, but outside of that, personal perception of approach can be followed personally and can be believed in, but not imposed on others, although people from the same circle may have some kind of consensus or common guiding principles. nonetheless, these have nothing to do with composition.

    as for extra-camera processing, in-camera processing or post processing whether digital or film, they are all geared towards one thing - that is to modify what is being seen or more correctly what is being received by the lens and medium, whether or not that is the same being seen. as a matter of fact, apart from many other smaller factors, the difference in focal length, and the variability of shutter duration already means that very often, photography does not capture what our human eyes see.

    and whether one do light painting in nightscape or input artificial lighting, or make jpeg alteration or curves in the camera, or do photoshop, they are not in principle more true/pure than one another. the difference being a preference of respective photographer, in terms of how much work/effort, and the desired outcome. whatever that can be done prior to a raw capture will of cos derive the best optical quality, though not necessary the best eventual results. when it comes to business, efficiency dictates that less post processing gives works faster to client.

    but in an amateur world, your work says it all and the effort you put in - whether a lot, or very little, are left to individuals to admire, but has no bearing on how good a work is.

    of cos, good composition matter. the difference in opinion probably only lies in can good composition be specifically defined into specific descriptions. it is often difficult to determine which variation of good composition is the best or better than others. but personally i think there are such things as almost universally bad composition, as in maybe you ask 20 ppl and all 20 do not think it is great. i think just like bad food and bad dress sense, it is not totally subjective, and there are some reasons why things work and why things dun work, except that it is not always easy to pin point the reasons.

    a problem can occur when one do not see how good composition can be achieved, and if he cannot see, he cannot change. and much time has been wasted on editing pictures that are bad to start with, and the editing often ended up destroying the normal tonal and color distribution that is associated with normal expected spatial relationship, and that of cos renders the piece of photography into a 2D graphic work, which can look nice to a minority group of people but entices little of the rest of the photographers and the general public.

    there is no real consensus of what is good, but the general way of consensus can be
    - by the general public
    - by the commerical world
    - by the art world.
    the introduction of the internet world facilitate the formation of highly specialised clusters of interest, where no matter how obscure is the interest, you can get comrades for that enclosed world. that generally created the fourth category. if there can be competition of the ugliest dogs (who are still dogs whose behaviour can make the owner love it), there is no exclusion of ugly pictures that certain group may like, provided they understand their position. conflicts often arise when either or both parties extend beyond their position.

  9. #149
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Webster’s definition states “composition is a putting together of a whole, the make-up of anything and/or a mixture of substance. By this all images have composition. Some have good composition and some have poor composition. Klaus Bohn stated in his excellent book, 50 Principles of Composition in Photography, “There are no rules to composition, only guides and extremely flexible principles that may help us to see more sensitively instead of in a hit or miss manner. The more aware we are of effective composition, the more satisfaction we may derive from photography”. When I first started back into photography I was busy learning the equipment, practicing everyday to get technically better and better images. They were sharp, clear, focused, color balanced and properly exposed. They still didn’t make me happy. Once I got the technical side down I started my art training again. I started asking myself, “Why do I like a particular subject?” and “Am I going to show this or will it be forever stuck on a hard drive somewhere? If you’re not going to show it then don’t waste your time clicking the shutter. If you’re going to take time out of your life to record the moment then take the time to catch it at its best. In order to do this I felt it was time to relearn and start practicing good composition. It took time but after awhile I really started seeing better images and I found I didn’t need to take as many to get good ones. It also meant I spent less time in Photoshop trying to create the image I originally wanted. This then equated to less time on the computer and more time out with my camera. I keep an electronic copy of Klaus Bohn’s book on my IPod touch for reference. I read any magazine articles I find on composition. Always refreshing the concepts in my mind making sure they’re available when I bring the camera to my eye. They are only guidelines that can be bent but, you can’t bend them if you don’t know them. So finally, composition is important; there is no picture without it.
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  10. #150
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    ocular, is there a lot of nice pictures in Klaus Bohn's book that makes me more worthwhile to get the non digital version? how much and where did you purchase the electronic version? do u know if it can be used on itouch...?

  11. #151
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by zoossh View Post
    ocular, is there a lot of nice pictures in Klaus Bohn's book that makes me more worthwhile to get the non digital version? how much and where did you purchase the electronic version? do u know if it can be used on itouch...?
    I purchased the Kindle version (digital) of the book, which has all the pictures, through Amazon for $9.99 USD. I use the free Kindle viewer app for the iTouch, available through Amazon as well. Having this as well as other fine photography related books on my iTouch means I have a Photo reference library with me all the time.

    There are also several very nice photography apps available for the iTouch; f/8, DOFMaster, Simple DoF, DofCalcV1 and more. I use f/8 the most. With all the excellent appps that are available I use my iTouch more as a tool than a music player.
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  12. #152
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    The way I see it. Many are just contented trotting around with a professional looking camera in hand.

    They take pictures of newspaper and rulers just to make sure their "investments" are flawless and well worth the money. Threatening to buy newer cameras and lenses from rival brands if whatever they own do not perform up to their "stringent standards". They sulk at comments targetted at their photos (with the exception of "good job, well done, whatever) because then they realise that their cameras and lenses are no long good enough for them but would recover in no time because they have an excuse for the latest and greatest yet again.

    They take pride in selling a 3 year old mint conditioned camera. Reason for selling? "Haven't used the camera much so I'm selling it to raise money for the next great in line". Sounds familiar?

    Composition is not something that comes to mind when I see them.
    Ohh how can I resist this, it's just so tempting.

    Kit my old friend you have learned your lessons well. The master is well pleased grasshopper.

    Now a rant (get your asbestos suits on kiddies, the ang moh is about to hurt some feelings)...

    Firstly gear measurbators, the newspaper photo taking, ultra obsessive "my lens resolves 1 Lpm better than yours" type of guy is a complete and utter wanker of the first order. These guys wouldn't know their ar$e from their elbow when it comes to making a half decent image, let alone a saleable image.

    Next in the firing line is the wannabe pro, similar to the gear measurebator they just have to have every damn gadget that's ever been made, they will only shoot manual, where most of us in the profession use a mode most appropriate to the job at hand. Most of us pro's instinctively know the right settings for a shot, or very close to it, we don't have time to obsess over 1/10th stop lighting issues in the field and save such trivial issues for studio work where I can spend days (yes days) lighting a product such as a car to perfection.

    Then there's the enthusiastic newbie. Well we were all this once upon a time so I shouldn't be too hard on them, and I won't be, but kiddies, please stop posting total $hite thinking the image is brilliant, it really isn't in most cases. Learn a salutory lesson, become your own harshest critic, pick holes in every single aspect of your shots and don't punch out 1000 shots to get 1 keeper. Slow down, take your time and THINK about what you want.

    Finally some sage advice from someone who's been in the game longer than most of you have been alive.

    1) REALLY LEARN exposure theory, it should be second nature to you.

    2) Rip your own work to pieces, don't worry about the good shots, concentrate on the failed shots. Ask tough questions, why didn't it work?, What went wrong and what can I do about it next time? If you really don't know then post it up and ask for help in fixing the shot.

    3) Crop less, learn to shoot so you don't have to crop your shots constantly.

    4) Your equipment is a TOOL, learn to use it to the maximum of it's potential before buying another bit of kit.

    5) Don't be a complete tosser and put "XYZ phtography" on your copyright as its' hackneyed and most of us in the trade just enjoy taking the pi$$ out of you when we meet up for coffee, a lively discussion is usually along the lines of ..."I saw these crap shots by a kid and he called himself blah blah blah... to howls of laughter from other pros.. hell some of my friends even bring the best (ahem) examples on their notebooks for the the rest of us to "enjoy".... A plain ©2xxx XYZ - All Rights Reserved is all you need.

    6) STOP BEING A !@#$ SHEEP. Herd like mentality and photography are mutual enemies as photography comes from the heart and head, not from having the same kit as everyone else. If you're good you can produce a quality shot from almost any bit of junk that happens to call itself a camera, if you're not good then you'll be producing rubbish from said bit of junk, the difference. KNOWLEDGE.

    Finally, Kit, compost is closer to many of the shots I see posted, they are so bad they simply aren't worth commenting on.

    Rant mode off.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  13. #153
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Oh dear, someone's gone and touched a nerve

    Good to see you in fine fettle mate ^.^

  14. #154

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Ohh how can I resist this, it's just so tempting.

    Kit my old friend you have learned your lessons well. The master is well pleased grasshopper.

    Now a rant (get your asbestos suits on kiddies, the ang moh is about to hurt some feelings)...

    Firstly gear measurbators, the newspaper photo taking, ultra obsessive "my lens resolves 1 Lpm better than yours" type of guy is a complete and utter wanker of the first order. These guys wouldn't know their ar$e from their elbow when it comes to making a half decent image, let alone a saleable image.

    Next in the firing line is the wannabe pro, similar to the gear measurebator they just have to have every damn gadget that's ever been made, they will only shoot manual, where most of us in the profession use a mode most appropriate to the job at hand. Most of us pro's instinctively know the right settings for a shot, or very close to it, we don't have time to obsess over 1/10th stop lighting issues in the field and save such trivial issues for studio work where I can spend days (yes days) lighting a product such as a car to perfection.

    Then there's the enthusiastic newbie. Well we were all this once upon a time so I shouldn't be too hard on them, and I won't be, but kiddies, please stop posting total $hite thinking the image is brilliant, it really isn't in most cases. Learn a salutory lesson, become your own harshest critic, pick holes in every single aspect of your shots and don't punch out 1000 shots to get 1 keeper. Slow down, take your time and THINK about what you want.

    Finally some sage advice from someone who's been in the game longer than most of you have been alive.

    1) REALLY LEARN exposure theory, it should be second nature to you.

    2) Rip your own work to pieces, don't worry about the good shots, concentrate on the failed shots. Ask tough questions, why didn't it work?, What went wrong and what can I do about it next time? If you really don't know then post it up and ask for help in fixing the shot.

    3) Crop less, learn to shoot so you don't have to crop your shots constantly.

    4) Your equipment is a TOOL, learn to use it to the maximum of it's potential before buying another bit of kit.

    5) Don't be a complete tosser and put "XYZ phtography" on your copyright as its' hackneyed and most of us in the trade just enjoy taking the pi$$ out of you when we meet up for coffee, a lively discussion is usually along the lines of ..."I saw these crap shots by a kid and he called himself blah blah blah... to howls of laughter from other pros.. hell some of my friends even bring the best (ahem) examples on their notebooks for the the rest of us to "enjoy".... A plain ©2xxx XYZ - All Rights Reserved is all you need.

    6) STOP BEING A !@#$ SHEEP. Herd like mentality and photography are mutual enemies as photography comes from the heart and head, not from having the same kit as everyone else. If you're good you can produce a quality shot from almost any bit of junk that happens to call itself a camera, if you're not good then you'll be producing rubbish from said bit of junk, the difference. KNOWLEDGE.

    Finally, Kit, compost is closer to many of the shots I see posted, they are so bad they simply aren't worth commenting on.

    Rant mode off.
    Hi Ian

    could you kindly elaborate more on this para:

    Next in the firing line is the wannabe pro, similar to the gear measurebator they just have to have every damn gadget that's ever been made, they will only shoot manual, where most of us in the profession use a mode most appropriate to the job at hand. Most of us pro's instinctively know the right settings for a shot, or very close to it, we don't have time to obsess over 1/10th stop lighting issues in the field and save such trivial issues for studio work where I can spend days (yes days) lighting a product such as a car to perfection.


    and would you mind saying more about exposure?


    I am new to photography and i hope to learn more

    tks alot..

  15. #155
    Member SurrealDreamWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by sfoto100 View Post
    and would you mind saying more about exposure?

    I am new to photography and i hope to learn more

    tks alot..
    Hi sfoto100,

    Best to read this great and comprehensive book on "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson.

    i myself is not new to photography, but i have been trying for ages to get that kind of PREFECT "composition + emotional" photograph. Photography is for me a re-ignited hobby as i came from using traditional SLR Nikon FM2 years ago when i was a student in a school of design/arts, and later my first foray into digital P&S Nikon Coolpix 4500. Now i am using obsolete Nikon D1 and D70, both are already converted to shoot only infrared photos. I am still learning.

    Photography comes into many categories/specialisations like for examples: landscapes, portrait, night scene, product, micro, birds/animals, B&W, infrared/UV, and the latest HDR. Each of them have a different requirements. IMHO, one needs to know one's specialisation, and then slowly learn to become good at it.

    What i learnt from design/art theory in school which i find applicable in photograpy is - An eye and a heart for creativity and emotions.

    Cheers, and best of regards.
    Last edited by SurrealDreamWalker; 17th December 2009 at 11:13 AM.
    "There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trials and errors."

  16. #156

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taurean View Post
    With DSLRs becoming so affordable, it seems like every other Tom Dick Sally and Wendy gets the impression that any photo is art, so no need to bother with ANYTHING. It is scary to see some of the pictures being posted, more pathetic to see how the thread starters may not even care about honest comments given in the spirit of helping them improve. So, just want to get an idea -
    Some of these "honest" comments from certain clubSNAP members seem to be more like blunt, snide and tactless comments that offer the person no constructive information on how to better themselves at their craft... So MAYBE, just maybe it could also be the pathetic and insensitive replies that some of how fellow forum members post that make people not want to care.
    “Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.”

  17. #157

    Default Re: Does Composition Matter Anymore?

    Without composition it's just a normal snapshot. Not that it's bad. But you can only classify it as a snapshot. Good composition is hard to achieve. With good composition, it becomes a meaningful photo.

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