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  1. #1
    winger's Avatar
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    Tough question to ask, but "Are my compositions ok?"

    My mom is not someone I'd consider an expert in art, but she has seen a fair amount and does know what she likes and dislikes. Her main photography has been taking family shots here and there and the very occasional vacation photo. But a couple of times, when looking at my photos, she's made comments that indicate she doesn't think I know how to compose a shot and that I don't think about that at all. Since I DO think about composition, it bugs me. The latest was while she was looking at the pieces I used to screen into the Pittsburgh Society of Artists (and I was accepted) - pic below. She said that what she sees when she looks at my photos is that they're technical and not about composition. She wouldn't really go further and didn't say straight out that she thinks they're bad, but it was definitely the impression I got. So, I'm putting on my toughest layer of skin and asking people I respect and trust - do I use good composition in my photos? Is it just that my mom doesn't know about composition? Or is she right and my shots are about the technical stuff and composition be danged?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails photo-3-sm.jpg  

  2. #2
    Kevin Caulfield's Avatar
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    Those three compositions look fine to me. I'd say keep doing it that way, as you know what you are doing.

  3. #3

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    That is exactly what I was thinking.

  4. #4
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    A good way to assess composition is to look at the image upside down and inverted side to side. Try it with any HCB picture and you will see what I mean. The images you have posted looks fine, but composition is a very complex subject which never ceases to amaze.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  5. #5
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by winger View Post
    ... do I use good composition in my photos? Is it just that my mom doesn't know about composition? Or is she right and my shots are about the technical stuff and composition be danged?
    She's your mother. Mothers shouldn't criticize their kid's art because they often can't see beyond the fact that we are their children, no matter how good or bad our art is.

    Parents often have preconceived notions about the kind of art their children do but when we "grow up," artistically speaking, our art often doesn't meet their expectations.

    If your mother was an artist, her ideas about art and how your art stacks up would probably be a lot different.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  6. #6

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    hi bethe

    your photographs are fine, i wouldn't worry too much about it.

    a lot of people judge photographs by what they are used to seeing and making.
    we all come with our own complex set of samsonite luggage so to speak.
    i am sure your mom knows what she likes and knows what she doesn't like ...
    and she is speaking from there .

    there are all sorts of "rules" when it comes to composition. but the whole point of rules
    is to break them. your work is very good, and the group you submitted to knows it too.
    parents are parents, and sometimes they don't like things outside their " comfort zone ".

    congratulations by the way !

    john
    ask me how ..

  7. #7
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    Yes, the compositions are just fine.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #8
    jovo's Avatar
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    Bethe, you should consider whether or not your mother really means 'composition' when she may have misconstrued that word for another or several that regard the subject of your 'graphs. I think what you posted is excellent, but it's a bit more abstract than what your mother may prefer in a botanical subject.
    John Voss

    My Blog

  9. #9
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Your compositions are very good. Consider
    • trading in your mother <<wink, wink>>
    • taking an art or photography composition class with her
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  10. #10

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    All of us will always want to be fully accepted and fully respected by mom and pop even after they're long gone. Few of us are fully accepted and fully respected by both. That's okay because it keeps us in a little continuous doubt... always on our toes... makes us try harder.

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