Skills Challenge Week 3: Composition

Composition to me is so important for any art form. I think what makes composition challenging as a newbie photographer is understanding all the little elements that go together to create a good composition.

In my previous life (pre-kids), I focused my creative efforts in painting and drawing. Composition in painting/drawing seemed easy to me. Why? Because I created every scene and element from scratch. Therefore the composition of each piece were entirely up to me. In my photography I find that I may think I am creating a great composition…but my eye misses a glaring red flag in the image. Here is the perfect example:


Originally when I took this photo I was thinking “how adorable, look at his cute little crooked hat and bright eyes!”  and I immediately snapped the photo. Even when reviewing the frame I did not initially see the red-flag. Only when I loaded the image on to my computer did I say the annoying toy tonka truck through the snow right above his head. Now…can Photoshop edit this? Sure…but I do not want to get into a habit of relying on Photoshop for things like this. Granted, in this situation where it was a fly-by-the-moment image, photoshop comes in handy. But I need to train my eye to see these things before they happen, that way when I am creating images I will eliminate this from happening (At least as frequently.) In general, having a firm understanding of composition will provide better imagery as well.

  • The Challenge: So for this weeks challenge my focus is on composition. I will use a minimum of three different subjects, with a minimum of three different compositions.


  • The Research: I think my passion for research stems from my days in college. But it’s true, I like to research everything. So I did a preliminary search on composition and came up with a few resources to get started. [And for those who are joining me on this endeavor the articles are pretty concise]. Photo Focus has a really neat article on composition with some great images for the visual learners. Photography Mad also has a great article about some key composition tips to use in your images.


  • The results: I will post the results towards the end of next week. In the mean time here is some great inspiration! This image is by Sami ur Rahman. He has very vibrant work depicting life, and some great compositions in his art.



This entry was published on March 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm. It’s filed under Art, Children, Composition, photo challenge, Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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