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The Enthusiast's Guide to Composition: 48 Photographic Principles You Need to Know Paperback – October 24, 2016
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From the Publisher
The Enthusiast's Guide to Composition: 48 Photographic Principles You Need to Know
It’s all in the details!
Details are often among the most cherished images you’ll capture, yet they’re also some of the most overlooked photographic opportunities.
Let’s create it moments!
What does ‘it’ look like? It could be the one image out of a dozen where the wind caught your subject’s hair in a way that would make a supermodel envious and also happens to align with an authentic laugh, ultimately coalescing in an image that screams, ‘I’m it!'
Use your surroundings to improve your composition and frame those shots like a seasoned professional!
About the Author
A professional photographer, speaker, and author, Khara Plicanic’s teaching style and sense of humor have inspired photographers around the globe for more than a decade. She’s authored several books, including Getting Started in Digital Photography, and her CreativeLive course catalog features everything from Practical Photoshop Basics to Create a Photo Album: Workflow and Design. When she’s not behind the camera, Khara stays busy plotting her next adventure, whether that's running a half marathon, riding her bike across the country, or most recently, embracing motherhood. Find her on Instagram @kplicanic or online at kharaplicanic.com.
Top customer reviews
This is a quick way in for beginners to intermediates to quickly get an education in composition - the messages are short and simple and that is all you need since the bottom line is once you have grasped the basics that Khara leads you through the only way forwards is to go out and do some shooting and then apply what you have learned when sorting and post-processing the results !
The author says that understanding composition makes you aware of what you are doing versus what you could be doing -- The difference between a snapshot and the photograph, author says.
She lists 48 principles of composition and I find that helpful. Each section is distinct and she is succinct with her advice. Filling the frame is one of the compositional principal she discusses and I remember that it was probably the first that I learned to use. Regarding the rule of thirds, the author reminds us to choose to have a grid in our viewfinder if our camera allows that.
She gives us illustrations of her own photos for just about every principle in the illustrations are two for each principle: the right way in the wrong way :-) There's one whole section on using contrast as a compositional tool -- something I hadn't actually thought of. She also suggests using objects in the foreground, in front of your subject, as a compositional tool. Good chapter on using negative space (also known as "empty white space" (composition strategy. Helps to define the positive space. In fact, she has more a negative space as composition strategy then other books I've seen. I appreciated it. The author suggests giving the negative space about twice as much room as your subject matter. I would not of thought that and now can't wait to try it :-)
Points out what I've found, that sometimes converting to black and white saves an otherwise crummy pic. One of her illustrations demonstrates that black-and-white photos highlight better the texture of animals' fur!
She suggests changing your point of view as the compositional choice which I put into practice when I photographed at a wedding recently. Really fun to shoot from way above. This is the first book that I've read on composition that goes into detail on using square versus rectangle format-I love it. She said square format is best for pictures with symmetry, patterns, and/or repetition. She's a portrait photog, and, besides giving compositional advice, she talks about how to put people at ease when photographing them -- I wish more authors gave tips like that.
This is the second enthusiasts' guide I've read and I find them quite helpful. Looking forward to reading the others, too.
I would definitely recommend this book to all beginners, both photographers and any other artists. If you are an experienced photographer this book would make a great refresher course!
So--here are my thoughts.The book is an easy read for beginners or novices. There is very little really confusing technical information. F stops,shutter speed, exposure modes ( av, shutter priority, auto, etc) are explained in a way that will not scare any one away. The different lighting situations are also simply explained. The chapter on when and how to use vertical or horizontal framing is well written and illustrated. So are the areas that discuss the rule of thirds and the use of negative space. Camera phones get some discussion.Depth of field gets a good introduction as do focus points in the camera.
What I liked about this book is that the pictures the author included are mostly of every day things and places. A reader will not feel a need to go to exotic places to try to get similar images. It was good to se some examples of good and bad shots and an explanation of why a particular image was good or not. Her writing style was simple and easy, almost folksy at times, and devoid of highly technical talk that would scare off a total novice.
This paperbound book is well presented on good paper. The print and images are large and clear. Anyone thinking about wanting to start using a camera would benefit by reading this book.