Composition Formula – From Idea to final image…

Composition Tips & Formula

Tick See Sunflower with ant.  Bob Grytten photo

Tick See Sunflower with ant. Bob Grytten photo

by Bob Grytten

On our last field shoot, the discussion drifted toward compositional guidelines.

The people who pay for the most effective photos, one would assume, have that subject nailed. Borrowing from a chapter in Rohn Engh’s books on marketing Sell and Resell Your Photos and Photos.com, both still available – we discussed a few universally accepted guidelines.

The formula in Engh’s books goes like this– B&P&S&I — Background (clean, uncluttered) & People (Critters for nature) & Symbol & Involvement. It works so well that I thought it was worth sharing with the rest of the Lens Luggers.
Then, this morning, at home, I noticed a few new Tickseed Sunflowers in bloom near a Beautyberry bush planted for their showy purple fruit in the fall. Somehow the color combination looked just right. I grabbed my camera.

First View

Tick Seed Sunflower and Beauty Berry bush.

Tick Seed Sunflower and Beauty Berry bush.

Knowing that odd numbered subjects usually work well together, my first image included the three tick seeds, but they were far apart and to close to the bush, creating a very cluttered background.

Second View

Second viewClosing in on a single flower, and using my long 200mm digital lens (long lens helps eliminate unwanted side distractions), with the subject taking up at least 1/3 of the frame and using the rule of thirds – remember those rules? –  I released the shutter. The image still has a cluttered background.

Third View

Tick Seed Sunflower using extension tubes to diffuse the background

Tick Seed Sunflower using extension tubes to diffuse the background

Getting closer to the subject using an extension tube, the purple I envisioned provides a nice complimemtary hue and blurs both the beautyberry and background to provide a more pleasing image of the subject.

Tick See Sunflower with ant.  Bob Grytten photo

Tick Seed Sunflower with ant. Bob Grytten photo

Then it happened. Remember Critter, in the formula ??  — Well, along it came and that provided me with my final image.

This, in my opinion is the strongest of all and as the ant is so small, I cropped the flower.

The side benefit… the image needs no caption to make it complete.      Is this fun… or what??

Yes I know — it’s winter. Unless your living in warm country, this might not fit the landscape. Just think, in four short months we’ll have color again. I’ll look for something that says winter. Have you noticed the seasonal header?

I’m back. Hear are some colder clime images. It’s 21° this morning and great conditions for hoar frost.

Hoar Frost on Pod. Bob Grytten photo

Hoar Frost on Pod. Bob Grytten photo

Hoar Frost on Holly. Bob Grytten photo

Hoar Frost on Holly. Bob Grytten photo

Both of these images were photographed with Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 with extension tubes on tripod. Cold Weather accessory will help with better comfort which usually results in better images. Glove liners from the local outdoor store will help a lot. Two pair of socks can help a lot.

And if you leave you camera in car it will probably be pretty close to the temperature that will prevent the lens from forging up. My lens did frost up a bit; however, even though it was in the car all night. After about five minutes it was fine. Stay warm and enjoy.

About bobgrytten

Nature photographers in Great Smoky Natl Park area, Lens Lugger enjoying travel and photography. Shoot'n fools who have a good time and like to share what they do. Go to www.lensluggerworld.com
Aside | This entry was posted in Education, inspiration, Nature, Photography and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Composition Formula – From Idea to final image…

  1. Sandy Martin says:

    Love your images, tips and website, Bob. Thank you! Sandy M.

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