A photo in Saigon, deconstructed, part of PHOTOGRAPHY COMPOSITION 101:
I wrote, and made all this on an iPad and Procreate app.
One. Saigon street photo
To start, I like this photo in Saigon because of the composition and mood.
1. Construction of frame
Composition: a frame, deconstructed, in a vertical rectangle on far left, then divided into two sub rectangles:
The man on bottom left, hunched over. With the leaves and tree flowing. Directionality of the frame moving from left to right:
3. Working the scene
I made 20-30 photos of the scene on Ricoh GR II, RAW, processed with ERIC KIM MONOCHROME 1600 preset, ISO 1600, center autofocus, Program Mode.
I was in a coffee shop, and saw this scene from inside. I shot out of a window.
Lesson: Coffee shop street photography is my new thing.
4. Final image
Look at the final image below. I didn’t straighten the frame. I prefer tilted frames. Less perfect, and more dynamic. I like it.
5. Lesson: Divide your frame
Use this template, or keep it in your mind when shooting steeet photography. Shoot landscape, and keep it simple.
Two. Cindy Saigon
1. How I made the photo.
Shot outside a cool hotel, flash on Ricoh GR in P mode.
We were walking around, and I saw the cool hotel backdrop. I asked Cindy to make some photos of her. I used flash to draw her out from the background. The lights of the hotel were cool.
2. Cindy hand gesture is what makes it good.
Deconstructed: this is what I saw, which I liked. The nice arc on top. Cindy’s idea for hand gesture. Her hands make a frame and show off her sensual lips. Very good photo.
3. Lesson: Get low
Lesson for me, shoot low angles.
Also, integrate diagonals into the frame for more dynamism. Use elbows, and arms of your subjects. Ask them to try making a frame with their hands.
This is a photo Cindy shot of me with Ricoh GR, macro mode and flash:
Don’t over think. Just consider the balance and proportions of the frame.
5. Lesson: Make good compositions and photos with loved ones.
Takeaway point, don’t always shoot strangers. Photograph friends and loved ones. You have more control how to frame and compose the frame.
Also shoot a lot. I made 15 photos of this scene. This was by far the best.
Three. Deconstruct your own photos
Have fun. Use the iPad (and Procreate), your phone, whatever to sketch over your photos to analyze your own photos. To better understand your own composition.
Use Photoshop and layers. Check out PHOTOCUBISM by ERIC KIM.
Don’t limit yourself to photography. Play, draw, illustrate. Your creativity has no bounds.
For more epicness, join ERIC KIM EXPERIENCE.
Deconstructed ERIC KIM Composition
Take your composition to the next level:
- Center Eye
- Dutch Angle
- Deep Depth
- Leading Lines
- Figure to Ground
- Fibonacci Spiral
- Composition by Eric Kim
Street Photography Composition 101
For distilled lessons on composition, read the free ebook: “The Street Photography Composition Manual.”
Further articles to improve your compositions in photography:
- Composition Lesson #1: Triangles
- Composition Lesson #2: Figure-to-ground
- Composition Lesson #3: Diagonals
- Composition Lesson #4: Leading Lines
- Composition Lesson #5: Depth
- Composition Lesson #6: Framing
- Composition Lesson #7: Perspective
- Composition Lesson #8: Curves
- Composition Lesson #9: Self-Portraits
- Composition Lesson #10: Urban Landscapes
- Composition Lesson #11: “Spot the not”
- Composition Lesson #12: Color Theory
- Composition Lesson #13: Multiple-Subjects
- Composition Lesson #14: Square Format
Learn compositional theory:
- Why is Composition Important?
- Don’t Think About Composition When You’re Shooting Street Photography
- How to Use Negative Space
- Street Photography Composition 101
- The Theory of Composition in Street Photography: 7 Lessons from Henri Cartier-Bresson
Compositional lessons from the masters of art