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Thread: Help with COMPOSITION

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    Help with COMPOSITION

    Hello,

    I am trying to learn this photography bit and it is proving to be quite challenging in all aspects.
    I have a K20D with a SMC Pentax DA 18-250 mm lens. It does not have a grid in the viewfinder to aid me with composition. Apparantly it has one if you have the camera in Live mode but I have read where this may be hard on the camera?

    Does anyone have any tips in helping one learn how to compose and image without the grid? I have never used Live mode due to above. I have read over the learning plan and it seems like a great place to start since I am accomplishing NOTHING on my own. Brain overload!

    Without the grid, when I am composing the shot, I am trying to make sure to get a number of things correct and forget that I should be placing my subject in certain places to get an appealing photo.

    Thank you for your help.

    Carrie

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    It will come, it takes practice, photography cannot be learnt in a few short weeks/months. Some people have an 'eye' naturally for composition and just tend to frame their shots well, others have to work at it. I would ask why you haven't used the grid in the viewfinder? It is a tool, it works, so use it.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
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    Hi ricktas,

    Thank you for your thoughts. I know..PATIENCE,PATIENCE, PATIENCE. With respect to the grid in the viewfinder, it is not in my viewfinder unless I am in live mode. I would love to use if but I have read where this could be hard on your camera so I have not ventured to try it. What is meant by this I am not sure.

    Cheers,
    Carrie

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    Hi drako4. How many images do you think that you have shot with your K20 ? How many would you consider are " keepers " ? This is where digital photography is a great asset. Study your shots on your monitor and even other members shots and ask yourself what and where improvements can be made. Post images for CC reguarly and members will help out. Use your live view. It will not hurt your camera, it will only drain your battery quicker, thats all, no big deal. You hit the nail on the head when you said " patience, patience, patience. " Keep at it.

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    Something that seems to work for me - seeing the picture before you have a look through the viewfinder.

    And of course, lots of shooting
    [ Canon 7D || Sigma 18-125mm f/3.8-5.6 DC OS HSM && Canon 50mm EF f/1.8 II || Canon Speedlite 430EX II ]

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Some hints.

    See the scene you want to capture
    Adjust camera settings
    Mount on tripod (if needed)

    Now SLOW DOWN

    Look through the viewfinder, explore the scene, adjust the position to get the composition you want.
    Do not just look at the main subject, look at the peripheral areas in the viewfinder
    Look for elements that are not needed, (can you step two paces to the right and get rid of that powerline?)
    Go SLOW
    Once you are sure your scene contains only the elements you want, then look at how it is composed, adjust again, recheck peripheral areas
    Keep your non viewfinder eye open. Use it to watch for things that could be entering your scene (bird, boat, person walking, etc)
    When you are ready and sure, take the shot
    There is no rule that says you need to take 250 shots to get your keepers. Every shot can be a keeper, but to do so, you need to SLOW DOWN. Do not just put the camera up and look at the main subject and 'click'.

    Slowing down is THE best way to improve. All to often we snap away, getting home with hundreds of photos, when if we had slowed down, checked everything before pressing the shutter, we may go home with 30-50 photos, of which most are keepers.

    Try it next time you are out taking photos. Consciously make the decision to SLOW DOWN, check and recheck, and then push the shutter button. Over time, if you do this as a matter of course, you will learn to scan the viewfinder within a second and recompose etc, and you can speed back up.

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    Thanks to everyone for your thoughts. If all I have to worry about is my battery dying with respect to using the grid/live view, then no problem.. I will use.

    ricktas, your emphasis on SLOW DOWN is very helpful and will be forever etched in my mind
    Great tips.

    Carrie

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