Composition in photography is a subjective matter. It’s also an intangible element to any photograph. There are rules of course, but sometimes the results of breaking these rules are more impressive than abiding by them. For me, composition is really about how we all see things differently. It’s what separates good photographers, from great photographers.
As we evolve as photographers, we grow our tastes and learn to look at things in different ways.
We do this by surrounding ourselves with the work of people who inspire us.
Or by simply working with our peers.
It’s not an easy task by any means, but re-learning how we see is more beneficial than any amount of new camera equipment.
It also costs quite a lot less too.
I think when we pick up our cameras, we often switch to a sort of default and ‘safe’ shooting mode. No one wants to risk losing a day’s work, but sometimes it’s what is required if we are to push ourselves to the next level.
There’s a misconception that one needs a press pass and media access to get good photos.
Hell, we practically convince ourselves that this is the case and use it as an excuse for why we’re not taking good pictures.
But as has been proven time and time again, it’s often only ourselves holding us back.
What can we do about it?
Move. Walk around your subject, climb things, lie down, stand up.
Always be wanting more from your photographs.
You should never be complacent with your work.
The best photographers I’ve ever worked with are never happy with their own work. They constantly push themselves to be better.
When was the last time you really looked at a scene before starting to take photographs? I mean really looked. If you have control of a situation, you would be amazed at the difference that manoeuvring a car (for example) a couple of feet in any direction would make and how much impact this would have on the final image.
Don’t be afraid to try new things. You don’t have to have the car or subject taking up the whole frame. Try a wider shot or an even tighter one.
It’s up to you to choose what the viewer will see. Do you want to give them the whole story in one image, or to gently tease them and leave them wanting more?
Learning to see again doesn’t cost a thing. But it is something that only you can achieve, if you’re determined enough.
Whether you choose the expected, unexpected or bizarre, there’s no right or wrong. Try everything and have no fear. One of my lecturers in college told me that “the greatest photo you will ever take, is right behind you”. It’s something I always try to keep in mind every time I pick up a camera, and I hope that someday I’ll be able to look back and see that he was right.
Thank you to all who submitted to this theme. The results of the VAG theme will be shown later this week.
We created #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER to allow you the opportunity to share your skills and car culture experiences from around the globe with the rest of the Speedhunters audience.
How do you get involved? It’s simple…
Flickr - Join our #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER Flickr Group and share your favourite photos with us and others.
Instagram – Follow us on Instagram at @TheSpeedhunters and tag your own car culture images with #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER
Twitter – Follow us on Twitter at @SPEEDHUNTERS and share your tweets with the #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER hashtag.
Tumblr – Visit our Tumblr page to view the latest #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER tagged images.
E-Mail – If you’ve been to a cool event and captured some amazing images, be sure to e-mail them to us on firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us a little bit about the event. The images need to be a minimum of 800×533 pixels.
Have you submitted already but yet been featured? Here are some tips to help you…
DO – Tell us your name!
DO – Submit your best work, regardless of when it was taken
DO – Take your time shooting and consider each detail
DO – Try to submit each image no larger than 1000PX wide
DON’T – Put a huge watermark on it. We’ll make sure you’re credited
DON’T – Send us huge image files that kill our e-mail system
DON’T – Send us scary ZIP or RAR files