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Basic Composition

Compositional skills, so necessary for lining up exactly the right shot in the camera, are equally important in conventional and digital photography. Your finished product should be well-composed regardless of how it was captured. The chief difference in the digital realm is that image editing can let you repair compositional errors after the fact. If you want your subjects in a group shot to squeeze together for a tighter composition, Photoshop lets you rearrange your subjects. If you discover you’ve overlooked a tree that appears to be growing out of the head of one of your subjects, you can remove it. However, it’s still important to be able to spot these photographic faux pas when they crop up. The ability to recognize good composition and put it into practice is an invaluable skill that not all photographic beginners have. Figure 1.4 shows the kind of compositional corrections a serious photographer makes almost instinctively.

Figure 1.4. Ooops! What’s growing out of the statue’s head? Simply taking a step to one side improves the composition.



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