Composition  book cover
2nd Edition


ISBN 9781003103356
Published September 9, 2020 by Routledge
184 Pages

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Book Description

Strong images only come about through a combination of technical excellence and thorough composition. While there is plenty of technical advice, photographers often turn to fine-art sources for the so-called 'rules of composition'. This book, however, acknowledges photography's quite different dynamic and offers a contemporary approach to composition more suited to the medium. The second edition of Basics Photography 01: Composition offers a contemporary approach to composition. Its six core chapters cover historical background and personal motivation, formal elements, space and time within the photographic frame and composition in real-world situations. The Basics Photography series, originally published by AVA Publishing, comprises a collection of titles including: Lighting, Composition, Capturing Colour, Post-Production Black & White, Post-Production Colour, Working in Black & White and Exposure. Easily accessible and highly readable, the books clearly explain and explore fundamental photographic concepts; they are fully indexed and illustrated with clear diagrams and inspiring imagery, building to provide an essential introduction to the subject.

Table of Contents

IntroductionBasics: The case for competition; The rules; Viewpoint; Perspective; ScaleCase study - Simplify, simplfy, simplifyExercise - Lenses and perspectiveFormal elements: Point; Line; Shape; Form; Texture; Pattern; Tone; ColourCase study - Aesthetics and the formal elementsExercise - Exploring a single objectOrganizing space: Frames; Balance; Appearance of spaceCase study - Making spaceExercise - Depth of fieldOrganizing time: Time passing; Moments; The decisive moment; SequencesCase study - Moving cameraExercise - Re-photographyOriginality: Finding your own view; Contrasts and humour; Imbalance; Cropping; Colour; Digital imagingCase study - Reinvent an old processExercise - Using 'found' imagesApplication: Landscape; Still life; Portrait; Documentary; Figure; Action/sports; Fine art; AdvertisingConclusionBibliography and WebographyIndexAcknowledgements and CreditsWorking with Ethics

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David Prakel


Superlative book on a subject often too lightly dismissed but of the utmost importance. Clearly written, cleverly illustrated, thorough but straight to the point. A must for... well, everyone! - Armando Vilas-Boas, IADE, Portugal

The book has valuable information for any beginner photographer. The images are very helpful and inspirational. The printing quality of the book is of a high standard making it much more useful as a visual aid. - Rusaila Bazlamit, German Jordanian University, Jordan

A little bit of luxury to have an entire book given over to composition... this text informs and inspires. - K. J. Shepherdson, Canterbury Christ Church University

What an amazing book. - Kevin Scully, Granite State College at Rochester & Portsmouth, USA

Composition is one of those topics that has surely been done to death. But in the hands of David Präkel, the subject expands its scope in new and fascinating directions. Präkel's engaging and knowledgeable text sits perfectly alongside the consistently beautiful imagery. The fairest comparison would be to place this book alongside any of Michael Freeman's equally vital publications, and that is high praise indeed. If you're looking for a jolt of inspiration, this is the perfect book for you. - Oliver Atwell, Amateur Photographer, December 2012,