More about Composition

Composition is one of the elements that scared me the most when I first started painting.  I did not have a handle on what made a composition ‘good’.  But it’s true that the more you do the better you get and composing my photos is becoming second nature.  I look for something on which to ‘hang’ the composition. My first image (click on images to enlarge them) has some interest.  The zigzag path that leads from bottom left (NEVER from the corner of the image) leads the eye in, then across and back again.  However, the eye does all that work for little reward as there is nothing of particular interest at the end of the line.

DSCN0169 Jct A4086 & A498 sl 8x6

The next image has a great sky, interesting lines in the mountains, depth from front to back.  But take out the boaters in the foreground, or even more, blot out the branches upper right,and the image has far less impact.  The boaters provide necessary scale and the branches put even more distance from front to back in the image and keep the eye within the image frame.

DSCN0089 Llyn Padarn Dolbadarn castle Llanberis sl 8x6

The next image would be pretty without the bench, but would not hold anyone’s attention.  Standing behind the bench, showing the view  one would have if sitting there, makes the image more arresting, makes you wanna kinda sit there and take it in.

DSCN0109 Llyn Padarn Llanberis sl 8x6

My last image has some leading lines, some scale but I found it ‘meh’, not so interesting.  So I zoomed way in, onto those boats barely visible in the background.

DSCN0110 Llanberis 8x6

DSCN0110 Llanberis sl 8x6

Sometimes I get a good composition well framed.  When I don’t I look within the photo; sometimes it just needs a focus and some zooming and cropping to reposition the elements.

All photos taken in Snowdonia region of north Wales.

Cee’s Compose Yourself challenge: Landscapes

13 thoughts on “More about Composition

  1. Lynne, this is a beautiful write up and your photos are spot on. Sometimes a little cropping is all you need 😀 I always say if in doubt put more in your frame. Crop later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, and so much easier to do that in photography than in painting. 🙂 It’s why I’m enjoying my photography so much over my painting. No expenses in canvases or paper or paint, and changes are made with a click of a mouse. Don’t like it? Undo and try again 🙂 No mess, no waste. And they sit dust free in the bowels of my computer rather frameless on a shelf. 😀 It’s all good.


  2. It’s so funny because when I read the first few words I said to myself “really? but that’s so easy” and then I saw you were talking about painting and I said (out loud) “Oh”.

    I don’t paint but I can see (or not see , as the case may be) how composing a painting could be so much more difficult than composing a photograph and how the latter would totally help the former.

    I have never considered myself “artistic” but I have to say the more I read stuff like this the more I want to try my hand at painting. I feel confident in my ability to compose but I fear that may disappear with paint brush in hand.


    1. Hi Dawn. You really should take up that brush. Expect the blank canvas or paper to be very daunting but you just get in there and do it and it can be rewarding and very satisfying. What you got to lose? 🙂


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