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nldunne
12-11-06, 04:53
Sassan

Following is a diagram of a grid I did at 3 X 2 and 6 X 4 inches. They have helped me put my lines in my image in a very accurate compositional manner.

After doing the lines on paper, I took the paper with the lines to a photo copier shop and they put the lines on a sheet of clear plastic - like over head projection machine plastic.

I first put one of these grids over an image on an art reproduction on a web site or on one in my art books (depending on size), move the lines around to where I like the lines of the grid to be on it, then make a note where the cross lines are on the image.

Next, I put these grids over my images on the P C screen and move the lines to the same spot as they were on the reproduction noted above, then move the crop frame to the outer border lines of the grid. Cllick Done or Crop to finish.

I also take them to the photofinishers to check on compossition balance of my images (and their work) when I get them.

Norm D

waffle
20-01-07, 16:35
I don't quite understand the point of this - surely it's better to do the composition in the camera?
As to the photofinishers, don't they just print what you supply?

nldunne
20-01-07, 16:45
Waffle

What I said to Sassan above is how I made it and how I use it.

I put my image on the screen first, then, I put this plastic sheet with the third marks on it over the image. Next I enlarge the image (or leave it as is) to bring in just the area I want in the final image.

Next I use my crop tool to bring in my lines on the image to match my outer lines of my third grid. I try to make sure my cross points are on a person or animal's eye.

The idea originated when I put this grid over art reproductions in books from the galleries I visited in Europe to get composition ideas. I just saw where all the lines in the grid 'fell' on the reproduction image and copied the same placement onto my image(s).

My diagonal lines on the grid, help me with my perespective on buildings and such.

I hope this helps.

Norm D

waffle
20-01-07, 16:52
Thanks Norm, I see that but can't understand why this is preferable to composing at the picture-taking stage?
Surely if I just rattle off shots and rely on fixing the composition when I get home then I'm a) losing image size and b) not learning how best to compose correctly in the first place?

Ciabatta
20-01-07, 16:56
I put my image on the screen first, then, I put this plastic sheet with the third marks on it over the image. Next I enlarge the image (or leave it as is) to bring in just the area I want in the final image.


I'm shooting on film so I don't have an LCD screen on my Camera to hold the grid against, how can I use it to imptove my composition skills ?

nldunne
20-01-07, 18:00
Waffle and Ciabatta

As for rattling off exposures - I prefer to suggest - one take one's time to do an image slowly and study the subject and learn all one can from it - at the location. By this I mean, texture, light level, subject composition - feathers on a bird for example, or wood texture on an old building - everthing that is in front of you.

I came up through the film days and we only had one chance to make our image as good as we could in those days. I have carried that idea over to digital.

For any one wanting to try this grid idea, I use the grid(s) over the image on my P C screen. Although I have put them over my digi cam screens too.

I hold the grid very solid over the image on the screen with one hand, and carefully use the crop tool and mouse to bring in my image borders to match the outer border of the grid with the other hand.

Slow - yes - at first!

However, it is one of the most accurate ways I have tried to study composition. I love putting the grid over art reporduction images from the Old Masters as well. They were the best there was at compositions and that is my reason for doing this.

Anyone can use this - the cam medium does not matter. It is a matter of wanting to learn from the Masters of Art how to put your image together in your cam (or on a canvas if you can paint).

I still do most of this subject placement in my cam on location and just do a very small touch up on here. The more I do on location, the happier I am. I hate sitting here for any length of time correcting my laziness on location.

As for the photofinishers, I take the grid and place it over my prints in the same way I do over my art reproductions to make sure the photofinishers gave me the proper composition.

I hope this helps a bit. Ask, if not!

Norm D

Ciabatta
20-01-07, 18:20
I still don't understand how this can be used with slide film. surely it's better to compose the image in camera rather than on a PC screen as there willbe less cropping required and therefore less loss of quality which is particularly relevant when printing at 18x12 inches or projecting the image ?

nldunne
20-01-07, 19:19
The best way to do it with slide film - scan the image into the P C and go from there as posted above. That is the only way that I know.

Norm D

miketoll
20-01-07, 20:41
I'm afraid I just compose the picture in the viewfinder to what looks right to my eye. I'm aware of some of the compositional ''rules'' but don't want to slavishly follow them, they are guidelines only and sometimes a better picture can result from breaking them. Don't get me wrong, a great deal can be learnt from studying the great painters but even they did not always agree amongst themselves and developed new ideas and broke the rules - if they had not done so art would never develop and would forever be fozen in time endlessly repeating itself. As far as the grid goes this does not always work for prints as if you print at different sizes of paper the ratios of the sides varies so the grid and the positions of the points of interests and their relationships varies.

waffle
20-01-07, 20:44
But if the slide is only intended for projection not printing, what benefit is there to scanning it - the original won't be altered.
Would it not make more sense to carry a grid with you in the field so that you can look through it at the original scene and apply it in-camera? Maybe something rigged up to sit on the camera flash shoe?

nldunne
20-01-07, 22:33
Waffle

If you can devise a way to hold it in some type of frame - GO FOR IT!

All I say is - use it close to you for wide angle work and further away for tele work.

Good Luck with this. I have hand held it this way - and it works with care.

Norm D

Nigel G
20-01-07, 22:42
Not sure about this being practical in the field but my Oly C7070 (and I believe a D200) have menu options to display a simple grid in the LCD / viewfinder respectively. Now that I do find useful for getting horizons straight etc and a guide to where elements of your composition are.

Ciabatta
21-01-07, 00:04
The best way to do it with slide film - scan the image into the P C and go from there as posted above.


But how will that have an effect on the slide ? or is there some way of converting the image back to a slide afterwards ?

nldunne
21-01-07, 01:56
I do not have it, but if you scan your image to the P C could you then make a slide in Power Point or similar to work on? You would still have the original in your slide collection - I think.

Or if you want you could make a copy to work on in the normal way and still have the original. Other than PP, I do not know if a slide with the corrections could be made. Someone in the group may have the answer to that one.

Norm D

teacake
21-01-07, 03:13
Hi Norm,

Being novice I'm listening to what you say but in my limited knowledge it appears to me that waffle and ciabatta both have valid points, should I be taking in all you say to exculsion of all others or would you say I should listen to all sides on photographic issues?
Nigel G says his grid is built in viewfinder Norm, what do you think of that? Should I save up and get cam like his or not?

Respectfully, teacake.

nldunne
21-01-07, 04:45
All I can offfer is - if you want to try it. If not - leave it. I just put in here to share an idea that has helped me. It may not be for everyone. But if you can put an image on the P C - it does give you a good way to study the way the Masters planned and executed their compositions. The ideas they used are easily adapted for use with a cam - if you want to use their ideas.

In your situation, I would listen to everyone and make your own decisions on what is right for you as faar as composition planning and your budget is concerned.

As for Nigel's cams. I would suggest - if you are able - try to get a hold of a model he suggests and try features. If you like it and can afford it, then it is your choice if you want to buy one.

Best Wishes

Norm D

Andy
21-01-07, 11:32
Why don't you all use the names you use at the 'other forum' so everyone knows what is what? Norm has stuck with his username, so how about the others coming out of the closet?

meadowman
21-01-07, 11:48
I'm afraid I just compose the picture in the viewfinder to what looks right to my eye. I'm aware of some of the compositional ''rules'' but don't want to slavishly follow them, they are guidelines only and sometimes a better picture can result from breaking them. Don't get me wrong, a great deal can be learnt from studying the great painters but even they did not always agree amongst themselves and developed new ideas and broke the rules - if they had not done so art would never develop and would forever be fozen in time endlessly repeating itself. As far as the grid goes this does not always work for prints as if you print at different sizes of paper the ratios of the sides varies so the grid and the positions of the points of interests and their relationships varies.

I think this is by far the more sensible approach. Surely if you put all the effort into getting the composition so strictly tied down you are going to run the risk of getting image content wrong.
As has already been pointed out, getting it wrong in the camera loses image resolution as you crop down the result. Also some detail is lost or corrupted as you enlarge your image to use the grid.
The subjects in the picture are not the only thing that you need to balance. The colour and brightness also needs to be composed so that you don't have too much of shadow or one colour on one side of the picture. No grid can do that.
I also find that it is seldom obvious where the cross points of the grid should lie. Fine if you have one person looking into camera because you can use between the eyes but even that is not always a good choice.
To me some of the most stunning images have been where the subject has been further off of centre than the thirds point.
Should we be trying to imitate the old masters anyway. Photography and painting are two different art forms. Painters don't have the benefit of depth of field to add to the composition elements.
And why should we assume that the "Thirds Rule" is so good as to be that rigid. It was adopted as a rule that had to be followed instead of a guideline. There was nobody to stand up and say whether or not it was right. Every painter just followed the rule like slaves. The old masters were not experts on composition. Their skill and value lie in the way that they represented their subject in brush strokes.