this is a continuation of last post
As I was soliloquizing, there should be a reason behind each picture. Something is always being expressed (even if something as simple as "hey look at my 2 year old daughter, aren't her arms edible?"), and our job is to realize what we want to express and then compose the picture in a way that best expresses the desired expression (I could use an expresso right now).
As an example here are two and a half sunrises (the second two are from the same morning).
These pics are all from the same spot at around the same time with the same lens at the same aperture (probably) and at the same focal length (around 200mm). Yet each one would elicit a different response in the viewer.
Disclaimer: When actually photographing these I did not think of all of this, these were all taken pre-epiphany.
The first is powerful, makes you want to get up and do something, go on a hike, explore. The colors explode, expressing all the wonderful potential in a new day.
The second is mellow.It's actually a bit before sunrise and expresses calm. Maybe a bit of thoughtfulness. The colors are very low contrast and on the cooler side expressing maybe a relaxed eagerness for the coming day.
The third? I'm not so sure about. It's still low contrast but very warm. the new day is here (the suns out), but I'll take it slowly, firmly (maybe).
I'm not sure exactly how this fits in to every type of picture, but I do think it applies everywhere. So next time, before you press the shutter, stop and think for a minute (if you could), try to express to yourself what draws you into this scene and how to best express what you are feeling or want to express with this picture. See what happens.
Back to the book.
After the epiphanous part. It goes through the visual weight and meaning of different lines, shapes, shades, colors etc. to try to hone your expression skills. Many times we instinctively respond a certain way to powerful pictures but we don't understand why. This book is a short primer on understanding the visual language involved in how we see and perceive (and react) the world around us.
5 stars, Two thumbs up and a packet of mustard to "Photography Composition" by Tom Grill and Mark Scanlon.
Good luck finding it though.