Is composition something that can be taught, or is it innate? Probably a bit of both. It is hard to look at photographs by Frans Lanting, Art Wolfe, Galen Rowell, and Dewitt Jones without coming to the conclusion that they were born with some kind of innate sense of composition. On the the other hand, it is clear that photographers can improve dramatically with the right kind of guidance.
If you have a good grasp of photographic composition and are ready to take your compositional skills to the advanced level, just remember one name: Michael Freeman. His book, The Photographer’s Eye is far and away the best book on advanced photographic composition that I have been able to find. Or at least that was true until The Photographer’s Mind came out, also by Michael Freeman. And then The Photographer’s Vision hit the book stores and it is a worthy sequel to the other two books. This is as good as it gets!
If you are new to photographic composition, start with Art Wolfe’s wonderful book, The Art of the Photograph, co-written by Rob Shephard. Then move on to Michael Freeman’s books, beginning with The Photographer’s Eye.
I should also add that if you tell a story with a series of images (for a slide show or an article that needs several illustrations), you better grab Michael Freeman’s The Photographer’s Story.
You can buy all of these books from the links in the article and in this section of my photography store. You will get get Amazon.com’s great prices, fast delivery, excellent service, and first class guarantee – all from the convenience of your home. And if your order is over $25 you get free shipping (and free shipping with any size order if you have Amazon Prime).
This is one in a series of articles that will guide you to the best of all things photographic. The rest are here: Buyer’s Guide: Recommendations For The Best Photography Equipment, Software, Books, Magazines, DVDs, Online Photo Labs and More.