So What are You Shooting For?

So What are You Shooting For?

Composition is a key component of making photographs. We all know about the rule of thirds, placement of subject matter, etc. but how many of us really think about what we will be doing with the shot after the shutter is pressed? There are different types of composition practices for different uses of the image.

Red Fox on Mount Rainier

~ click image to enlarge ~

When I’m out shooting a subject, I regularly include a few frames of my subject that will include blank space in my shot, preferably with little detail or an out of focus area for text. This is known in the design and publishing industry as copy space. Copy space is an area in an image left blank intentionally for the purpose of adding text or other elements in a design or publishing project. Commercial photographers know and shoot for this. It is very important for stock photographers and absolutely essential for media photographers. If you think about it – most of every two-page magazine spread is the perfect example of this when an image is spread to take up most or all of both pages. Nearly every memorable magazine featured article I can think of uses a strong story-telling image with enough copy space for at least the title and author of the article. It is also seen in nearly every advertisement, publication and commercial, and anywhere else where you see graphics/photography and text together.

Stock photography has become very important to me in recent years in my work as many of my clients are web designers or publishers who are looking for images that are a little higher in quality than your usual microstock agencies. Knowing how to compose shots for a variety of purposes when out shooting is often the difference between a day with no calls and a paycheck. For more information on my library of available stock images  click here.

Rich Leighton
November 14, 2011

About The Author

Pro photographer, writer, master naturalist, Florida native in the PNW, lucky husband, father of two boys, big hockey and soccer fan, and native orchid hunter.

Comments (4)

  • Sandra

    You know I am a self taught person Rich. Just wanna thank you for the tips you share. I have learned alot from you

  • Joanne C . Beebe

    Rich…thank you.
    All of the information you share is extremely informative and always helpful. Your work is beyond excellent and from you many can learn…present company for sure. Thanks again and keep your information rolling.

  • RichLeighton

    Any time, my friend! 🙂 Thank you!

  • RichLeighton

    My pleasure! I try to pass on all the good info that creeps into my head 🙂

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