Lesson: Composition

This is going to be a quickie – I’m in Prague right now, sitting in the hotel, waiting for my turn at the shower before heading out to a day of museums and galleries.

Good composition is critical to making your message clear. And “good” is highly subjective in this case. Ask what you’re trying to say, whom you’re trying to say it to, and why you’re saying it. The pictures below illustrate this nicely.

The first one is a pretty picture of mountains. I love mountains, as I believe I’ve mentioned before (and will again). And that’s really all this photo is about. There’s a little extraneous detail at the bottom of the photo, but it helps lend some perspective that shows just how close you are to the mountains.

High Tatras Mountain Range

High Tatras Mountain Range

This second one reveals that the extraneous information was the top of a ski slope in the off-season. It was shot not to show the mountains, but to show how tiny the ski slope is. It must be the flattest, shortest ski slope that’s not located in a mall in Dubai. The setting is stunning, but I think even I could ski there, and I’ve never skied.

Mountains and ski slope

Mountains and ski slope

So, to recap, make your pictures more powerful by thinking what? to whom? and why?

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