The process of composing

Much of the process of composing an image is intuitive and second nature with experience, but like any other tool, we can become complacent in its use. Composition needs to be forefront in our minds while we are capturing light to make good or great images.

It starts before you raise the camera to your eye. Evaluate your potential image, what compels you to focus on that particular scene? Does your eye travel through the scene? Does your eye return to one part of the scene repeatedly? Talk to yourself about what you see. Our goal is to visualize the end result, with practice, we will be able to see the final image before we sue the camera.

Sometimes this phase happens in seconds, sometimes it has to happen in seconds or the shot is lost. Other times it takes days or months or even years.

Eventually, it’s time to bring the camera into play, this is where we frame the shot. Does it still look like the image you visualized?

What’s in and what’s out? What you leave out is often as important as what you leave in.

Is it the right time to take the shot? Is the light still good, has the weather changed, etc.

Next we’ll look at the elements of composition.

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