Mysteries of the Common

The premise of this group is to showcase photographers work in the realm of creative interpretation of common items with little to no post-processing.

Composition, Balance, and Bias III

Quigi Quigi 24 posts

Ahh, remember your first camera? Your first shot? How strangely simple and amazingly complex the ‘old fashioned’ 35mm SLR seemed at first? lol. Setting up for your first shoot and taking hours, just because of the cost of home developing B&W or colour film at the lab. Then going through 3 rolls to get one good shot? Today I think we should talk a little about composition. Do you know what one of the most appealing forms to the human eye is? A spiral! Actually known as the Golden Rectange (a bunch of complicated math, lol) discovered by the ancient Greeks. Things with gentle curves and accenting lines can really draw an eye. When you couple this with things like colour and textures….voila! Have you ever wondered why a brick building is more appealing than a cinderblock one? The trick is to train your eye to see the potential in a well composed shot. Whether doing candid or studio, it applies to both. There is a ratio to the Golden Rectangle, but again you can train your eye to see if it’s there or not.

You will find this form in many great works throughout the ages, remember this and maybe your work will be one!

Marjolein Katsma Marjolein Katsma 1619 posts

“How strangely simple and amazingly complex the ‘old fashioned’ 35mm SLR seemed at first? lol.”

Ha! My first camera was nothing so hugely complex! It was a very simple Agfa box camera: literally a rectangular box, with a tiny glass viewer on two of the sides (one portrait, one landscape format), and a metal slide you could pull out more or less for choosing different apertures. Roll film, which was quite fiddly to get in right and not crunch up. I still have it…

All the “rules” of composition applied, of course, but it was very hard to see it in those tiny pieces of glass! But it was a good learning tool, and I did get some good shots with it, encouraged by my father. I was nine or so…

“Have you ever wondered why a brick building is more appealing than a cinderblock one?”

No, because a building isn’t interesting by virtue of the material it’s made of alone! I can think of quite a few cinderblock buildings that are heaps more interesting than heaps of brick ones… Material has nothing to do with composition. But the “rule” of thirds and the “rule” of the golden rectangle are useful guidelines all the same – unless you deliberately go for simple symmetry or something off-balance, of course. ;)

The rule is: there are no rules. But learn to look, and then do what works. :)

Sonja Wells Sonja Wells 566 posts

Like the shell in this picture…

Known as the golden ratio – I had to learn a lot about it for my job. Although there it’s all about numbers, not art… Not that I care, I take art and ideas anywhere I can! The math of it isn’t actually all that complicated though, it’s easily portrayed with squares, such as the image you’ve posted above.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that you should know all the rules so that you can know where to bend them the most without breaking stuff.