Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Photographic Composition

Albrecht Rissler worked as a professor of drawing and illustration at the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz, Germany. The subject of image composition, I read, „often informed by photography, is a key topic in his courses on illustration and in his publications.“

Isn't image composition a bit of a big word when it comes to photography? For what photographers basically do is to frame. As John Szarkowski once penned, the photographer's "central problem is a simple one: what shall he include, what shall he reject? The line of decision between in and out is the picture's edge. While the draughtsman starts with the middle of the sheet, the photographer starts with the frame. The photograph's edge defines content." 

Albrecht Rissler defines composition as "bringing together individual elements into a cohesive whole" and does not differentiate between painting, drawing, graphic design, and photography. In all of these fields, he writes, "composition pertains to the organization of two-dimensional elements within a predefined image-area."

Agreed yet I do prefer "framing" to "composing" when trying to characterise what a photographer does. But let us not split hairs for I do find Photographic Composition an inspiring work.
For more, see my review on

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