What makes a great photo? Flicking through the pages of most popular photography magazines you might get the impression that there’s only one rule of importance – ‘the rule of thirds’. Indeed it appears that some will judge the merit of a photograph based almost solely on this. Rarely do you hear discussion about ‘visual weight’, ‘balance’, ‘negative space’, ‘depth’ and so on.
Author and professional photographer Richard Garvey-Williams argues that success lies in a combination of four elements: an impactful subject; dynamic composition; effective use of lighting; and, perhaps the most crucial, ability to invoke an emotional response in the viewer. Citing examples gleaned from a study of history – the Ancient Greeks' Golden Rule; Fibonacci's mathematical ratio; and the principles known as the Gestalt theory – the author analyses the concepts, rules and guidelines that define successful composition in photography and offers practical guidance to achieving great results.
In clear, concise and jargon-free text he also considers the role of tone and color in good composition, and offers invaluable tips and the tools to help the photographer take control of the creative process. The book is illustrated with examples of the author's own beautiful nature photography, along with diagrams and notation to explain techniques most clearly. A final chapter in this definitive guide for all serious photographers discusses photography and its relationship to art before offering a considered conclusion to the exploration of this fascinating topic.