There’s bound to be a backlash of sorts especially from some of the ‘think-they-know-it-all Photogs’ out there, but in photography COMPOSITION is pretty much the whole Monty or (at least) a very great deal of it. Whether you like an image or not, more than likely, is linked to what you think of that images’ composition or questions as to how it was captured and presented by the photographer artist. End of story! Not going to bicker with anyone because it’s just an opinion.
Composing photographs, however, is probably one of the topics most written, lectured or talked about more than any other subject matter in photography. Again, it’s just an opinion!
That being said, however, one of the most fascinating books written on the topic of composition in photography is part of a series of No Nonsense Photography Guides published in 1990 by the Image Bank in association with Eastman Kodak called: Composing Photographs.
Published when film was king, ‘Composing Photographs’ is very well written and extremely easy to understand even in this digital era. It does not presume the stage of photography the reader is at, and it certainly does not judge the photography knowledge of the reader.
In a very logical fashion the book addresses some general elements of composition by using basic and trouble-free language and, in Part 11, it explains to the reader just how to control composition by using different camera techniques. It is also crowded with some amazing photographs particularly selected to explain each composition concept being written about.
Then at the end, the reader gets to put it all together (first) by being challenged with a simple fact which the book states at the very beginning of the Part 111:
“Good composition will simply not happen. You the photographer must organize the raw material you find into a cohesive image. And this means you must integrate what you have learned about composition thus far.”
This is a remarkable book and for just under $5 is certainly worth the investment guaranteed to impact on how you compose your photographs within days after you’ve had a chance to read Kodak’s: Composing Photographs.