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Composition - Expanding the Techniques

An advanced technique that combines the techniques developed in:-

The objective of this exercise is to widen our understanding on these areas and to create a set of format guides that will be of use to you.

Start by creating a set of 5 or more mountboard cut-outs that are the same size as your mirror, on its outer edge, and having a variety of different proportions on its inner edge, we would suggest you have:-

  • one that has a square cut-out

  • one that is proportionally a 10x8

  • one that is the same proportion as your camera sensor

  • a proportionally 2x1 panorama cut-out

  • a proportionally 3x1 panorama cut-out

You may find it easier, at least to start, to use a smallish mirror.


You can use these in two ways:-

  • They fit onto your mirror and will allow you to play with different shaped mirror images.

  • You can use them as free standing cut-outs to look through.

If you want later, you can expand the set so as to have a wider range, so as to help you create photographs that you can section to fit specific sized pages, mountboards and frames, as well as possibly getting a better understanding of cropping images.


This can be applied in many areas from greeting card and calendar shots through to making an image in an advertisement really work, to working out exactly where to stand, often repositioning the camera a little can have far more impact than most appreciate.

Particularly with panoramas you will find looking at the image through a cut-out assists you not only to compose the image, but allows you to see how deep or wide your shot needs to be, so that you can create the image that works for you. It also assists you to create panoramas that will work as a set with proportions that you like.


See Also:

 Photograph Composition - Introduction


By:  Keith Park  Section:  Photography Section Key:
Page Ref: composition_advanced Topic:  Photographic Techniques  Last Updated: 07/2009

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