I know like me, you’re probably often challenged by how to compose creative shots, which convey “the strongest way of seeing,” as Edward Weston put it.
Straight on. From behind. From the side. From the other side. Get low. Get high. It’s safe to say there are standard go-to camera angles when it comes to composing a photograph. But after a while, you may get the urge to change it up a bit. Challenge your composition creativity maybe.
Recently, on my Advancing Your Photography Show I interviewed a one-of-a-kind photographer with an eye for imagination. Huntington Witherill has studied under Ansel Adams. He has a background in fine art, which is evident in his stunning images. As you will learn in episode 1 of “5 composition secrets with Huntington Witherill,” Witherill has a way of making the ordinary into something extraordinary.
Key points–we took some notes for you on the first episode:
- Visualization: What is your strongest way of seeing?
- Use imagination to arrange the scene to create a compelling photograph.
- “Photograph things for what they are and for what else they are.”-Minor White.
- Placement of edges and angles in the frame are important.
- Chase the storm clouds.
- Use neutral density filter to “give yourself more time” (so you can slow down exposures for moving subjects.)
In episode 2, “12 Creative Composition Tips with Huntington Witherill,” we go deeper inside Witherill’s unique approach to photography. He shows dozens of examples and teaches you to orchestrate how the eye travels through the shot. Witherill’s motto is life is not built in 8×10 and it is not experienced in 8×10, so you don’t need to crop in the camera as a perfect 8×10.
Here are some notes for you on episode number two:
- Be conscious of what is going on the edge of the frames.
- Spacing between subject and frame is important.
- Avoid bright objects at the edge of the frame or corners.
- Use composition to orchestrate how the eye travels through the frame.
- Don’t feel like you have to use standard crop size when photographing.
- Leave room for the subject to breathe.
- Move in as close as you can to the subject.
- Know what it is you are trying to visually say with the photograph.
- Look at subject matter for shapes, the flow of lines, lines, how shapes interact with each other.
- Find visualize balance. (Doesn’t always mean symmetrical.)
- Experience is key!
I’d love to hear how these help you to capture stronger images.
I've had the honor of interviewing some of the world's best photographers.What I really love to hear is how our viewershave been able to advance in their photography skills -- as I hope you will too. So tune in with us as we take the continuous journey ofadvancing our photography.
I've also written a new book "The Secrets to Creating Amazing Photos: 83 Composition Tools from the Masters" where I explore the many tools you can use to broaden your vocabulary as an artist.
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