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Composition in Shooting the $2million image

Martin Turner (Martin Turner)

Keywords: martin_turner, studiophotography, concept, planning, composition, lighting, shooting, postprocessing, pro, professional_photography, human_factor, working_with_people, studio

This is the fifth part of the series Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image - Composition.


The human eye interprets images in the following order: movement, colour, shape, content. If you wish to create images that sell products, change social behaviour, win election campaigns or merely persuade people to invest their evenings in watching a particular TV show, then you need to construct the image with these in mind.


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John Hernlund (Tokyo_John) on July 19, 2018

Wow Martin, thanks a ton for taking the time to write this down for our benefit! Your chart shows very nicely how lighting and composition are inextricably linked together, which is important since it is easy to fall into the trap of emphasizing one at the expense of the other. Of course in a studio one has options to control both, which is why studios are often necessary to achieve the best results. And as you point out, what an individual might think is a good photo might not be appreciated by more general sets of eyes, and if the latter is a result one is trying to achieve then it is important to study basic principles of visual psychology.

Richard Luse (DaddySS) on July 13, 2018

Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for  his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017

Very interesting and informative, and very well explained. The chart is great and it was interesting to actually feel the tension as I was reading the sections of the chart describing which images cause tension. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Kent Lewis (nkcllewis) on July 9, 2018

Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017

Can't say enough how important composition is to any artwork. I've never seen 25 rules of composition all at once. Just having those 25 reminders, wow, it's made my day. Wonderfully well written, to the point article on the essence of a challenging shoot. Thank you for sharing this. Kent in VA

Gavin Duffy (Gaduf) on July 9, 2018

This is a very interesting post.I have learned more about composition in the simple table included here than in any other photography guide read previously. Congratulations. Gavin

Karen Gottschall (scenicshutterbug) on July 8, 2018

Great article. Clearly outlines factors to be considered to make any shot more powerful. Thank you, Martin.

David Summers (dm1dave) on July 7, 2018

Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015

Great article, thanks for sharing your insight!