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Take Your Best Shot by Tim Grey

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3 Composing

Image

Driftwood IISymmetry makes for a quiet, stable, and calm image. It could be thought boring, but that really depends on how much there is to the image.

Sketching to Make Photographs

A powerful tool in learning to see, and subsequently in composing your own images, is to make an outline sketch of the image you are studying or the composition you propose to record. To be honest, I don’t run around with pencil and pad sketching the outlines before I photograph, but that’s because I can imagine the sketch, and there is no reason why you can’t do the same with a bit of practice.

If truth be known, my process of making crude outline sketches actually started years ago with the use of hand metering and the zone system in large format photography. I would draw the sketch to record which zones recorded where. After doing that for a few years, it became easy to make the sketch in my head and to then analyze this imaginary sketch for the various aspects of composition.

However, the process starts with real pencil and paper, making crude sketches of great photographs you admire. You could use a book or look up the images on the Internet. Do not, however, trace the images (which is hard on your LCD screen, not to mention the books!). Simply study the picture for a minute and then draw a small rectangle representing the image frame—no more than 3 inches in any dimension, or even half ...

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