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Composition: From Snapshots to Great Shots

pics1101CompositionComposition From Snapshots to Great Shots
Authors: Laurie Excell, John Batdorff, David Brommer, Rick Rickman, Steve Simon
Publisher: Peachpit Press
258 pages …$24.99
ISBN-13: 978-0-321-74132-5

Composition From Snapshots to Great Shots for beginning to intermediate photographers has a different, interesting, and effective format.

Each chapter begins with a brief introduction to its topic. Chapter 1, for example , is the equipment you use directly affects your photographic style.

This is followed by Poring Over the Picture, called Poring Over the Equipment in this first chapter, consisting of one or more pictures with annotations of key points and a brief text to immediately involve you in the subject. In Chapter 1, one illustrates the effect on the picture of sensor size and crop factors. Another shows one scene shot with different focal length lenses.

The chapter content follow, in this case a description of what is in the camera bag and her reasons for them with illustrations of the equipment and resulting photographs. This first chapter also includes her top ten photo settings and their influence on her compositions.

At the end of each chapter there are assignments to help you improve your ability to make great shots. The assignments in this chapter are an equipment inventory, studying basic camera settings in your camera’s manual, and two focal length exercises.

Laurie Excell is a nature and landscape photographer. She wrote the first six chapters on Equipment, Exposure Triangle, Light, Lines and Shapes, Color, and Spatial Relation Ships. John Batdorff, Rick Rickman, David Brommer, and Steve Simon added their fields of experience in chapters, in order, on Black and White, Sports and Composition, Beyond the Rule of Thirds, and The Compositional Dance.

PeachpitThese photographers give you their own thinking from their experience using their photographs, and encourage you to experiment and create your own style. I think Composition: From Snapshhots to Great Shots is the first book I have read where a photographer has suggested that you sometimes leave your tripod at home even for landscape photography.

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