“The best poems are those with the right words in the right order; so are the best photographs those with the right objects in the right position.” -Tod Papageorge
Let’s face it, composition is a highly personal search that the artist undertakes when he/she begins producing art, and ends only when he/she stops breathing (or producing art). There are no absolute “right” or “wrong” approaches to composition, but art is essentially a commodified resource, in this day and age, and the history of its sale has taught us some valuable lessons about how we can go about at least making our work more commercially viable. That’s why you make art, right?
In any case, these short photo-essays are meant to help guide the beginner in their quest of figuring out what makes an image worth looking at. They are culled together from the years that I have spent teaching myself about art history and photography. Consider them an academic stepping stone; once you are familiar with the machinations implied by these rules, feel free to break them. Until then, good luck!
“I make a lot of errors. Once in a while I make something interesting. That’s the way it works.” -Lee Friedlander
“If dramatic content guaranteed a dramatic picture, every photograph of a close play at home plate would be a masterpiece.” -Garry Winogrand