The Art of Difficult Photographic Composition

April 17, 2013

I’ve recently photographed the new exhibition and auditorium space at Prospects College, Basildon. Visually it was an interesting space, but initially I thought it was going to be very difficult to photograph it effectively. Luckily I only had that job on the day and was really able to work on the composition, deciding what the key elements were, and slowly drawing them out. Once I’d worked out what I wanted to show it was then a case a refining the composition to highlight the key elements and exclude anything that didn’t contribute to the narrative or could distract the viewer. Selecting the view point in a large open space like this is often much more difficult than smaller spaces where you have little choice but to photograph from the corner of the room.

Once I had picked the basic viewpoints, which took me about an hour, it took another 10-20 minutes to optimise the composition, often moving the camera by only 50mm at a time. The lack of interruption and lack of mobile reception really allowed me to concentrate on the project, resulting in 5 finished images taken over about 3 hours. It always gives me a lot of satisfaction when I can work though a tricky problem like this and come up with a good result.


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