Learning composition

Yesterday was the first time I’ve tethered my camera to my laptop so I would have immediate feedback on the pictures I shot. I think it made a difference, as I changed the composition of the food on the table, aiming for something more pleasing, with appropriate height, more balanced.

Last night when I uploaded the pictures using Dropbox, it didn’t upload all of them for some reason (I’ve got to learn how to use that software properly). So I only had about half of my shoot when I was reviewing last night.

This morning, all of the images were there, including a series of 5 bracketed images to play about as an HDR (I haven’t done that yet) and my later compositions.

Here’s the one I posted yesterday:

My first winter CSA delivery

Here’s one I reviewed this morning (well, I also played around with it in Photoshop to give it a more graphic appearance):

Another composition, another treatment, another blog item.

I switched the onions and the leeks.

This gives more of a vertical through the image of green, and has some amber rounds on the left, and some on the right, rather than having them all together. More of a mix of round and long things throughout the image, because the leeks were over with the corn and the carrots before.

I think this composition is more harmonious (but the two diagonal black lines on the curtain are disastrous).

What do you think? What would you change?

EDIT: After looking at it for a day, I hated the Photoshop filter. Made an interesting novelty, but I didn’t like it enough to repeatedly come back to it. So I’ve loaded the full-colour image instead. One change I did make from the top image (other than the repositioning of food) is that I colour corrected it, so instead of looking like it has been photographed by warm candlelight or late afternoon sun, the colours are more correct — they’re cooler. Now, I think I like the warmth of the top image, but the arrangement in the bottom. Your thoughts, please!

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About pat

Photographer and writer. I love taking pictures of food that make it look irresistible. Prime interests is field-to-table food, closely followed by gardening and urban nature.

3 thoughts on “Learning composition

  1. I personally prefer the cooler version, including the arrangement. I actually think the dark folds work well to draw the eye down into the composition, and mirrors the curve of the basket and the highlights on the sweet potatoes, onions and butcher paper. In the first image, where the leeks and onions are swapped, that implied line is not there to provide a path for the viewer’s eyes.

    One of these days I’ve got to get you to show me how you do this. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the comment, Steve! I just had a look through all your Flickr stream. We should get together for a coffee again — it’s been almost a year, and it looks like we’ve both been busy!

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