Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style

Date Published: 8/18/2011
Category: Straight Takes

Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style




Composition is a very vast subject. Unfortunately, this subject is too often narrowed down to what is referred to as “the rules of composition”. Certainly, rules are important. However, to limit the entire subject of composition to a set of rules is to limit what composition is as a whole. These rules may also limit how photographers perceive what the field of composition encompasses.



For this reason, I prefer to refer to the subject as the field of composition rather than as just composition. The “field” implies that there are multiple dimensions to the subject of composition and that, implicitly, composition is not limited only to a set of rules.



Composition is about how each photographer uses light, colour and contrast. It is about how each photographer sees the world and how each photographer wants to represent his world to his or her audience. In short, composition, when approached from an individual perspective, is about your way of seeing the world.



(I met  Elzbieta Piekacz, an Italian photographer who lives in India during the 2007 Chobi Mela, Festival of Photography in Dhaka Bangladesh. Her  works Love and Light from India  is an example of working with the subjects and treating them like a playground for compostion)