A beginning photographer can hardly evade advice on the question of composition. As reward, he/she is told, wait more pleasing photos. Usually then follows a list of rules (with immediate advice that rules sometimes need to broken), like the Rule of Thirds, the Rule of Odds, use of leading lines and so on. But is only goal for a photographer to always make pleasing photos? I don’t think so. Therefore, I believe it is a fair question to ask what we really want to achieve with composition.
If we try to understand what we mean by composition we find that at the most basic level, it can be described as arranging visual elements in a limited frame. I think the term “limited” is quite important here. Paintings and photographs always use some limited two-dimensional plane (a canvas, a film, a sensor) to place the picture. Even sculpture can be thought of as using a limited, but three-dimensional space.(more…)