Visual Flow by Ian Plant with George Stocking
Visual Flow: Mastering the Art of Composition is a 287-page downloadable PDF eBook filled with informative text, stunning full-color images, and plenty of insights and inspiration. This book is newly designed to optimize viewing across multiple platforms including computer screens and iPads.
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” –Edgar Degas
What makes a great photograph? Is there any one aspect of the process which separates the merely good from the truly magnificent? Many candidates immediately spring to mind, such as subject matter, light, mood, and moment. In my opinion, however, one aspect clearly rises above the rest, and is the thread which ties all of these other qualities together. Composition—the artistic arrangement and placement of visual elements within the picture frame—is the most difficult aspect of the art of photography to master, and also the most important. True, composition is not the only important aspect of photography, but it is vitally important nonetheless. Although the importance of the emotion evoked by a photograph’s subject matter and mood cannot be underestimated, likewise the primal visual response evoked by a skillful composition cannot be ignored or forgotten. Composition commands the viewer’s eye. Mood, light, and other intangibles are all important as well, but without solid composition they all become much less effective. Combined with a masterful composition, everything becomes a transcendent visual symphony which the eye cannot escape. Composition, above all, is your way of making others see what you see. A snapshot shows the world what your camera sees, but when you create a composition, you show the world what you see.
Visual Flow: Mastering the Art of Composition is an artistic tour de force, spanning several centuries and different artistic media in its quest to reveal the composition secrets of the great masters. Although the focus of the book is on nature photography composition, the techniques discussed within are easily applicable to other types of photography, and (more broadly) to other forms of two-dimensional visual art as well. As such, artists of all types should find this book useful.
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