As digital cameras and software packages become more advanced, seemingly by the minute, it has become easier than ever to overlook the basic elements which have always resulted in the best photographs, no matter how fancy (or primitive) the camera itself. Composition is the single most important aspect of creating great images, no matter what level of photographer you happen to be. No amount of digital wizardry can turn a badly composed image into a picture you would want to display. While many books on composition tend to overcomplicate the subject, this book breaks down everything you need to know into small, digestible chunks of information that you will actually remember once you're out and about taking pictures. Instead of plodding through long and complex pages of text, this book supplements the necessary information, such as the basics of the rule of thirds and how to get good highlights and shadows, with tons of gorgeous, full color images that actually show you what to do and how to do it, rather than just telling you what to try. You'll be amazed at the gorgeous images you'll create, whether your passion is for photographing your family, pets, travel adventures, nature, or anything else.
About the Author
Throughout his career, Peter Ensenberger has crossed photographic boundaries to explore different styles and diverse subjects. After studying fi ne art photography in college, he went on to win awards as a staff photojournalist for several newspapers. More recently, he served 25 years as director of photography for Arizona Highways, the award-winning nature and travel magazine. His responsibilities for the magazine covered a wide range of roles-photographer, photo editor, writer, and project manager. Peter left Arizona Highways in 2009 to devote full time to his own photography business. Currently, he resides in Tempe, Arizona, where he is a freelance photographer for Black Star, an international photo agency based in New York. Corporate and editorial assignments make up the bulk of his work, with an emphasis on travel and lifestyle. In addition, he leads group and individual photo workshops to Arizona's most beautiful and remote locations.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Strong Focal Point; Chapter 2: Rule of Thirds; Chapter 3: Simplicity; Chapter 4: Leading Lines; Chapter 5: Lens Choice and Cropping; Chapter 6: Highlights and Shadows; Chapter 7: Breaking the Rules
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ensenberger has the communication ability with both the 'picture' and the 'thousand words'. The information, flow and presentation creates one of the best photographic books I have encountered in years. It refreshes information that may have faded, and provides supporting reasons to attempt other techniques. Photographers often create a rote shooting pattern and, while capturing great images, leave many areas uninvestigated. Peter prompts you to explore, take chances, and seek alternative viewpoints - follow the 'rules', but break them for potential new drama. This is a must have book in a photographers library, if just to remind them of what makes this medium great.
The major portion of the book covers the "Rules" of good photographic composition. The author performs competently as he progresses through the various chapters. The text is clearly written, and examples abound. But the very best has been saved till the end; "Epilogue: Where Do You Go from Here? Like the author, I am an advocate of "having a game plan" and being prepared. In the earlier pages the author speaks of scouting out one's subject and determining different perspectives. On pages 126 and 127 you will find six very different images of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Clearly photographic evidence of the truth of the author's instruction. I teach photographic composition to beginning photographers and I'll be using this book in my next class. Charles Heisterkamp, III, M.D. Photographer