Composition is the difference between a picture and a portrait.

by Douglas Hoffman on March 14, 2022

When I arrive at a beach location before I grab my camera I walk around and get a feel for the place. I watch the water to get a sense of surge, waves, and motion of the ocean. I look at the clouds present and get an idea of how fast they are moving across the sky. I search for shapes and features that appear in the foreground and back ground, that repeat and ad balance to the scene.

Once an idea for a portrait forms in my minds eye, I visualize the finished portrait and define the feeling and emotion by setting the exposure (shutter speed and F-stop). After determining the exposure needed, I set my up camera appropriately. In many cases this will mean using graduated and neutral density filters. These tools allow me to manage light coming into the camera and as a result exercise my creativity. A slow shutter speed like the one used in this portrait allowed me to turn running water into a Silky flow.

Learn how to do this in a private workshop. Real learning happens when you hear it, see it, then do it, and tweak it.