You may have noticed a common refrain in the tutorials we post from experienced photographers; namely, to make really special images you have to be adept at visual storytelling. And one powerful method for engaging a viewer is by employing a few creative compositional tricks.
In this tutorial from B&H Photo Video an experienced pro demonstrates five compositions tips in just four minutes that will take your visual storytelling skills to the next level. Erik Hercules specializes in commercial and fine art photography, and he uses some compelling imagery to illustrate his unique approach to composition.
Hercules begins by discussing the importance of being thoughtful and precise when framing a shot. He explains that, “Everything in your image must be purposeful, with every single line, shape, color, and texture contributing to the particular story you are telling. “ In other words, nothing less and nothing more.
Another trick for creating cohesive images with emotional impact is to maximize depth of field and texture by shooting with small apertures. This approach can also help “punch the colors” throughout an entire image.
Hercules also demonstrates a mindset he considers extremely important. Here he advises thoughtfully scrutinizing a scene, before pressing the shutter button, and “examining every single angle as though you’ve never seen an angle before.” This requires you to be “open minded” and visualizing a shot in ways you may not have imagined in the past.
You’ll also see what Hercules means when he recommends “bending reality” a bit by not abiding by traditional rules of composition. He also discusses the choice of equipment, and demonstrates how you can redefine your imagery by becoming intimately familiar with the camera and lenses you use.