Thinking beyond composition in photography

You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved. – Ansel Adams

The idea of this blogpost came to my mind when I came across the above quote from Ansel Adams. I love quotes and I have them written pretty much everywhere from my phone to my notebooks.

One of the great things about photography is that it allows us to capture whatever is attracts us. This is wonderful when we are getting started but later we crave a lot more. We look for stories and a sense of purpose in our work.

However, photography is more than just composition. Edward Weston once said that ‘ Consulting the laws of photography before taking a picture is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk’. I happen to agree with him.

Composition, rule of thirds etc, let’s be honest, there are so many articles on the topics that I have no desire to go into it on here. Although, it certainly a useful thing to learn, I rarely think about them. You may say that it is simply because I am familiar with them. Perhaps you are right but they are certainly not what I think about when I click on the shutter.

As Edward Weston effectively put it, a ‘Good composition is merely the strongest way of seeing.’ This means, how we perceive things and what speak to us. By all means follow the rules, but if I choose to have a dark image or play with unconventional composition, that is my creative decision. It certainly does not mean that it is wrong simply because I choose not to follow conventional rules.

Extreme © Pamela Aminou


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