Images Club Night – Essential Composition – Guest Speaker
Chris Upton – Essential Composition 20 ways to improve your pictures
1/2/22 Attendees 30
Chris Upton began his presentation by introducing himself as a Travel and Landscape photographer an associate of the Royal Photographic society and a Fugi film ambassador.
He went on to say he was going to share twenty ways to improve our photography, focusing on Composition.
He began by saying the most important thing a photographer can think when coming to take a photograph is “What do I want to say with this photograph. Why am I taking this picture?” An important thing is to know where to stand, so he advised when to starting to take a landscape picture, walk around and think about where to stand and put your tripod to get the picture you want. It is important to take this time to make that decision.
An image needs a clear focal point, and the rule of thirds can help this by placing thar focal point on an intercepting line on one of the thirds usually the right hand one as it acts as a stopper for the viewers eyes.
He continued, saying if the sky is a bit boring use lots of foregrounds using a wide-angle lens to capture the scene and always allow yourself a little extra to be able to crop if required.
Chris went on to talk about “The Golden Mean” and the Fibonacci figures which give us the Phi Grid. Lightroom have this as an overlay and can be used to place your focal points onto this grid. This will make an image work compositionally.
Chris mentioned things to improve composition including a lower or higher viewpoint to add interest to the picture. Chris suggested going out for an afternoon with just a wide-angle lens to see what worked with this lens and then to do the same with the telephoto lens to see how composition changes.
We went on to discuss leading lines, framing, balance, and harmony with colour using the colour wheel as a guide. Colours can contrast with warm and cold tones which can work nicely.
Chris gave us examples of this with a village of red tiled roofs against a clear blue sky, and a sea of poppies commemorating the soldiers in combat defending our country, with the use of Intentional Camera Movement which looked as though the poppies were blood pouring from a grey Tower of London.
The presentation included the use of the cropping tool to use, to get the best crop to suit your image excluding the sky if its bright and takes the viewers eye away from an image. He suggested 5×4 with vertical landscapes and 16×9 for a letterbox effect.
He went on to look at the Lens effect and gave the explanation of the wide angle lens on foregrounds to bring the person into the picture and to use the telephoto if requiring a standing back view. Chris went on to give us information on photographing people, with lovely examples of his own work taking three shots slowly moving forward each time to capture the environment, the whole person and then the facial portrait.
He talked about converting to black and white to emphasise a person’s facial features only, if they are wearing bright clothes.
Other elements of Chris’s presentation told us about the use of shapes, buildings symmetry, patterns, and textures to enhance our pictures.
Chris said Tripods are a great asset because they make you slow down and make sure nothing is in the frame that you do not want. Look at background and move your tripod to get the picture you want.
Chris ‘s presentation was clear, illuminating, and helpful to the entire range of photographers in our club from new members to people with knowledge, experience and skills. Chris kindly sent images to accompany this blog but also his list of twenty things to think about. The recording of his presentation is in the members area for any member to watch and refresh their memories.