When I was a new photographer, I found it hard to set up a good composition. For example, while photographing an amazing sunset, I would get so excited during the moment that I found myself just firing off the shutter without taking my time and really setting up the shot. During a 365 project some years ago, I found it even harder to compose. I was more concerned about getting my daily photos than the quality of them. Don’t get me wrong, I think 365 projects are a great discipline. But for me it wasn’t something I could sustain.
Since then, I have strived to compose better images and most importantly, to take my time and put more thought into each shot. By doing so, I have more joy during the moment. I know for me, it is getting easier, but learning to see and learning to focus more on composing a quality image will probably be a lifelong effort.
This year I picked up Ian Plant’s, Visual Flow: Mastering the Art of Composition ebook. This is one of the best books I’ve read on this subject. The book is all about mastering composition. I found it to be incredibly detailed with explanations and inspiring examples of Ian’s photos as well as featuring George Stocking. Ian also talks about the works of the old master painters he admires to illustrate compositional techniques. I really like how he draws lines, circles, and what he calls “squiggles” to illustrate it visually. The book has 288 pages which make for a big photography ebook. You’ll definitely get your moneys worth!
Ian Plant recently added a companion book to the series called, The Visual Flow Companion, Volume 1. This is a 51 page PDF ebook with the same illustration style with Ian’s personal analysis on the subject of composition. It features other members of the Dreamscapes team. This includes George Stocking, Richard Bernabe, and Kurt Budlinger, all wonderful photographers. It’s an easier read and you’ll definitely want to pick this one up as well with the introduction of new concepts and techniques. As with the first book, you’ll learn how to create more compelling and dynamic images. Reading this series of books on composition will open your eyes to the possibilities of improving your photographs.
Right now you can get The Visual Flow Companion, Volume 1 for 15% OFF the regular price of $7.95 using the discount code DECEMBER upon check-out. If you haven’t picked up Visual Flow: Mastering the Art of Composition yet, you can buy it combined with the Companion for $29.95. Another bonus is you can take 15% OFF all products through the end of December using the same discount code.