“Composition has almost always been solitary.”
- Wendy Carlos
“Composition is frozen improvisation.”
- Igor Stravinsky
This week’s blog posting is a visual reflection on the art of photographic composition, with apologies to the composers Wendy Carlos and Igor Stravinsky, whose quotations above refer to musical compositions. However, the more I learn about photographic composition, the more I realize that there are many common elements with musical composition, especially the qualities mentioned above: its solitary nature and its sense of frozen improvisational moments.
This week, in the third of four lessons in my digital photography course at the Art Gallery of Ontario, we learned about the art of composition. Janieta, our excellent instructor, reviewed the styles of a wide variety of famous photographers, gave an overview of the basics of composition, and then sent us off merrily into the galleries to feast our cameras on the treasures.
The basics of composition included consideration of:
• the rule of thirds
• balancing elements/asymmetry
• leading lines
• symmetry and patterns
• depth of field
What follows are photographs I made in response to this week’s theme. As always on my photographic journey, I relished being alone with my camera, even when surrounded by crowds. Wendy Carlos’ words keep resonating for me.
Next week’s theme: studio photography with a model.