Some Turtles (and a Note about Learning Composition)
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Clearly some people have an eye for composition and the rest of us have to develop it. In the second category, suggestions, guidelines and “rules” were created. Like many others I have argued that there are no rules and learning rules means learning how to break them to best effect. Programs like Lightroom have provided grid overlays to help use those “rules”. Whether you like them or not, the grids help keep your compositions straight and can be useful in other ways. When I was first exposed to photography, the emphasis was on negative space, letting your subjects breath and not shoving them against the frame. Now I am speaking about photography and discussing my thinking behind photographs often from a compositional standpoint. I find it easier to explain a photograph then generalize about composition. I certainly get ideas from people who do and do not follow rules. In the end I suggest we make up our own rules that guide us and that become part of our style but it all begins with developing an eye for composition. I am sure I am not alone in having photographs I like fall flat with an audience. Most often this occurs because I have made the composition too busy, or the composition lacks impact. Capturing an audience’s interest and replicating this over many subjects, that is mastering your art.