Neil got me started on this one, something I‚Äôve had some random thoughts about before but never actually stopped to think about and explore.
I‚Äôve always composed purely by intuition. I think things can somehow look ‚Äòright‚Äô or ‚Äòwrong‚Äô without even knowing why, and to be honest I didn‚Äôt question it, and just kept on shooting. But that post made me think that it‚Äôs worth actually stepping back to look at what it is you are doing, compositionally, and trying to push yourself a bit further even if it is only by recognising any comfortable rut you might have grooved out for yourself and trying to climb out of it.
It‚Äôs a dangerous thing, to stop doing it with your gut and start trying, because trying too hard can kill your instinct to the extent where you just don‚Äôt want to shoot anymore. Maybe the ‚Äòexcercises‚Äô are the answer ‚Äì by separating these little experiments from your normal stuff you could, hopefully, retain that instinctual element but allow what you learn during the excercises to creep in subconsciously to your normal shooting.
But what happens when you try to learn composition? Apart from it being contrived, which I think is the biggest worry, do you think you actually can push yourself beyond that naturally occurring sense of what looks right? Thinking of my method of shooting just now I almost cringe at the boring simplicity of most of my pictures! Maybe you don‚Äôt have to do anything complicated for it to be good, but it certainly would be nice to add a few more weapons to my arsenal when I‚Äôm faced with a scene that has loads of potential.
Here for flickr page
I think this is about the least simplistic and structured shot I have, actually, and I was very tempted to crop it down to a square and keep that upper sharp area as the main – ahem – point of focus of the frame, but I resisted. Almost the entirety of shots in my flickr, it would seem, have only one or two subjects and that does actually get a bit limiting with the old composition, so maybe that‚Äôs a clue.
The book is still open on this one. I‚Äôll probably have more to add later‚Ä¶