Ugly Hedgehog - Photography Forum
Mastering Composition by Richard Garvey-Williams
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Jan 12, 2021 16:22:35   #
PaulBrit Loc: Merlin, Southern Oregon
 
Some of you recommended this book a few weeks ago when I raised a query about composition.

Well it arrive today and it looks like a very good tome.

My question to others who have read it and learnt from it, how did you read it?

In other words is there a preferred way of reading and learning from it?

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Jan 12, 2021 16:26:39   #
Bill_de Loc: US
 
Left to right.


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Jan 12, 2021 16:28:25   #
PaulBrit Loc: Merlin, Southern Oregon
 
Bill_de wrote:
Left to right.


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Very droll!

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Jan 12, 2021 17:23:40   #
via the lens Loc: Northern California, near Yosemite NP
 
Carefully I suppose, the same way you'd read any other photography book. Other than that, front to back, or pick out certain chapters that interest you (what I often end up doing) and then go back to the others as needed. Read and practice, not good enough to just read.

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Jan 12, 2021 17:59:44   #
repleo Loc: Boston
 
PaulBrit wrote:
Some of you recommended this book a few weeks ago when I raised a query about composition.

Well it arrive today and it looks like a very good tome.

My question to others who have read it and learnt from it, how did you read it?

In other words is there a preferred way of reading and learning from it?


I am not familiar with that book, but I am going to order it right now.

The best way to learn from any book is to practice what you read. Take one example or idea at a time and go looking for your own examples. Don't come home until you have, say, ten shots that embody that suggestion.

My favorite book on composition is 'The Photographer's Eye - A Graphic Guide by Michael Freeman. Each great photo is accompanied by a simple graphic that explains why the shot works.

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Jan 12, 2021 18:53:51   #
PaulBrit Loc: Merlin, Southern Oregon
 
via the lens wrote:
Carefully I suppose, the same way you'd read any other photography book. Other than that, front to back, or pick out certain chapters that interest you (what I often end up doing) and then go back to the others as needed. Read and practice, not good enough to just read.


Thank you, and I get the message about practicing. As is now said: “Film is cheap!"

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Jan 12, 2021 18:56:45   #
PaulBrit Loc: Merlin, Southern Oregon
 
repleo wrote:
I am not familiar with that book, but I am going to order it right now.

The best way to learn from any book is to practice what you read. Take one example or idea at a time and go looking for your own examples. Don't come home until you have, say, ten shots that embody that suggestion.

My favorite book on composition is 'The Photographer's Eye - A Graphic Guide by Michael Freeman. Each great photo is accompanied by a simple graphic that explains why the shot works.


Oh, that sounds like a good book as well. Will resist going any further for the time being; one book at a time!

But as I have just said, practice is the key I’m sure.

I shall be starting into the book soonest and may give feedback in this place as I go along.

Thank you!

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Jan 12, 2021 22:39:19   #
Strodav Loc: Houston, Tx
 
Have the book and I highly recommend it. You should read it in chapter sequence as Chapter 1 sets the foundation for chapters 2 and 3. Chapter 4 kind of stands on it's own, but is better understood after reading the first 3 chapters. Chapter 5 takes what's learned in chapters 1-4 and tries to make it practical. Sometimes it conflicts with my own beliefs, but the discussion is enlightening.

Photography is a blend of art, science and technology. As an engineer, I'm pretty good with the latter two, but weak on the creative / artistic side. Maybe that's why I love Photography so much as it helps balance my creative and analytic sides. This book has made me think differently when planning a shoot and what I look for before I click the shutter. Enjoy!

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Jan 13, 2021 06:33:36   #
dpullum Loc: Tampa Florida
 
My suggestion for learning composition is to follow a rule beat into my head by the mentoring Tampabay Camera Club lead judge... "Crop to the story." get rid of the extraneous, make the story simple and direct.

My second suggestion is a massive free book, read it bit by bit. John Suler's:
Photographic Psychology: Image and Psyche. An exploration into how people react to images
http://truecenterpublishing.com/photopsy/article_index.htm

John Suler is Professor of Psychology at Rider University who has written on the behavior of people online. Suler earned a B.A. in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

John Suler's Top Ten List: Book Reviews and Recommended Readings for Photographic Psychology
http://truecenterpublishing.com/photopsy/readings.htm

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Mastering Composition by Richard Garvey-Williams, the subject title of this post, is $30 on Amazon
Check the 3* reviews, it appears this is for beginners.

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Jan 13, 2021 06:53:59   #
PaulBrit Loc: Merlin, Southern Oregon
 
Strodav wrote:
Have the book and I highly recommend it. You should read it in chapter sequence as Chapter 1 sets the foundation for chapters 2 and 3. Chapter 4 kind of stands on it's own, but is better understood after reading the first 3 chapters. Chapter 5 takes what's learned in chapters 1-4 and tries to make it practical. Sometimes it conflicts with my own beliefs, but the discussion is enlightening.

Photography is a blend of art, science and technology. As an engineer, I'm pretty good with the latter two, but weak on the creative / artistic side. Maybe that's why I love Photography so much as it helps balance my creative and analytic sides. This book has made me think differently when planning a shoot and what I look for before I click the shutter. Enjoy!
Have the book and I highly recommend it. You shou... (show quote)


This was the sort of advice that I was looking for. Thank you very much. I empathise with you in many ways.

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Jan 13, 2021 07:00:00   #
PaulBrit Loc: Merlin, Southern Oregon
 
dpullum wrote:
My suggestion for learning composition is to follow a rule beat into my head by the mentoring Tampabay Camera Club lead judge... "Crop to the story." get rid of the extraneous, make the story simple and direct.

My second suggestion is a massive free book, read it bit by bit. John Suler's:
Photographic Psychology: Image and Psyche. An exploration into how people react to images
http://truecenterpublishing.com/photopsy/article_index.htm

John Suler is Professor of Psychology at Rider University who has written on the behavior of people online. Suler earned a B.A. in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

John Suler's Top Ten List: Book Reviews and Recommended Readings for Photographic Psychology
http://truecenterpublishing.com/photopsy/readings.htm

--------------------------------------------
Mastering Composition by Richard Garvey-Williams, the subject title of this post, is $30 on Amazon
Check the 3* reviews, it appears this is for beginners.
My suggestion for learning composition is to follo... (show quote)


Two brilliant suggestions. I love the notion of cropping to the story; that’s a very good tip.

The book by John Suler sounds incredible and is a definite next read. Wonderful!

All very good advice.

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Jan 13, 2021 07:29:22   #
Morning Star Loc: West coast, North of the 49th N.
 
PaulBrit wrote:
Some of you recommended this book a few weeks ago when I raised a query about composition.
Well it arrive today and it looks like a very good tome.
My question to others who have read it and learnt from it, how did you read it?
In other words is there a preferred way of reading and learning from it?


My way of dealing with all books of this kind for photography (or sewing, carpentry, or...... well, you name it!)
I flip through the book, reading a paragraph here and there.
After that, I use the book in two different ways:

1. If there is something I want to do, and am not quite sure how, I check the index and see if that "something" is discussed. Then read about it with camera in hand and try to follow and understand what it says. Also keep a pencil handy to make my own notes in the margins.
2. I'll take the book and flip through it till I see/read something that catches my attention and that I think I would like to try out. Again with a pencil handy.

It may not be the most economical use of time to learn things, but it works for me.

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Jan 13, 2021 07:36:25   #
PaulBrit Loc: Merlin, Southern Oregon
 
Morning Star wrote:
My way of dealing with all books of this kind for photography (or sewing, carpentry, or...... well, you name it!)
I flip through the book, reading a paragraph here and there.
After that, I use the book in two different ways:

1. If there is something I want to do, and am not quite sure how, I check the index and see if that "something" is discussed. Then read about it with camera in hand and try to follow and understand what it says. Also keep a pencil handy to make my own notes in the margins.
2. I'll take the book and flip through it till I see/read something that catches my attention and that I think I would like to try out. Again with a pencil handy.

It may not be the most economical use of time to learn things, but it works for me.
My way of dealing with all books of this kind for ... (show quote)


Thank you for that. I think this advice is not so far removed from the help offered by others. It is all great help; thank you!

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Jan 13, 2021 09:03:10   #
indemand77 Loc: Fridley, MN
 
dpullum wrote:
My suggestion for learning composition is to follow a rule beat into my head by the mentoring Tampabay Camera Club lead judge... "Crop to the story." get rid of the extraneous, make the story simple and direct.

My second suggestion is a massive free book, read it bit by bit. John Suler's:
Photographic Psychology: Image and Psyche. An exploration into how people react to images
http://truecenterpublishing.com/photopsy/article_index.htm

John Suler is Professor of Psychology at Rider University who has written on the behavior of people online. Suler earned a B.A. in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

John Suler's Top Ten List: Book Reviews and Recommended Readings for Photographic Psychology
http://truecenterpublishing.com/photopsy/readings.htm

--------------------------------------------
Mastering Composition by Richard Garvey-Williams, the subject title of this post, is $30 on Amazon
Check the 3* reviews, it appears this is for beginners.
My suggestion for learning composition is to follo... (show quote)


Thanks for the freebie. I am checking it out right now.

| Reply
Jan 13, 2021 09:08:51   #
MrMophoto Loc: Rhode Island "The biggest little"
 
I see there is a lot of discussion about composition in photography and I find this exciting, because I have been teaching photography in a public high school (Art dept.) for over ten years.
Photography CAN be an art form and with that in mind all the principles and elements in art (any art from painting to sculpture) will/must apply. In my school any art class (photography among them) has a prerequisite of "Foundations of Art". In this class they cover the the principles and elements of art. I'm not going to bore everyone but I will send a page which illustrated these as a reply to Paulbrit's original statement.
If anyone is really interested in learning about composition, take some basic art/design classes, not painting classes - classes that deal with design. All design and art is based on these principles and in photography, composition is the foundation.

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