Teachable Photos

The rose is composed of curved lines but four prominent straight lines call attention and distract from it. They are too visually powerful to work in harmony. Instead of acting as a subtle contrast, they compete for attention. When we have a definite center of interest everything else should support it.

When using a bulls eye type center of interest like this you better make sure other aspects of the image are powerful enough to overcome it. Otherwise the composition can look amateurish. 

This photo contains no distracting elements; everything belongs. The pedal in the very center has been damaged and creates a broken line, giving the rose a unique character and more interesting structural content. There are visually interesting things to explore in the details. I found a good variety of line, shape and value to arrange for an interesting composition.

As you may recall from the 5C lessons, the biggest difference between ordinary photos and exceptional ones is good composition. Red roses are not uncommon but this abstract interpretation is. As the comparison of these two photos demonstrates, good composition starts with interesting structural content.

When I took the photo I was mentally focused on the arrangement of line, shape, color, value, form and texture. Working with these fundamental elements helps you get past literal interpretations of the subject and be more creative with composition.