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  #1  
Old 20th January 2009, 05:57 PM
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Default Composition and Perspective

This question was posed to me by an aquaintance,

Are Compostion and perspective the same?

My intial reation was yes but I did not know why I should think that they were so I did a little research.

compostion

The way in which something is made up from different elements or as a photographer would put it the artistic arrangement of parts in the picture.

Perspective

the art of representing three- dimensionl objects on a two dimensional surface so as to convey the impression of height, width, depth and relative distance. Apoint of view.

Having read the above I relised that I do all without a lot of conscious thought. I automaticly know in my minds eye where to place the camera to get the best from what I'm looking at I may not always get it right. when reviewing the picture afterwards I do what feels right at the time.

My point of view is you cannot have one without the other. So yes one and the same.

What is your point of view?

My assertions are not set in stone I have an open mind to other points of view I may have not considered.
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Last edited by photomi7ch; 20th January 2009 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 20th January 2009, 06:44 PM
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Mitch, I consider perspective is an effect of viewpoint and composition as how you arrange the elements of a scene, if you like, seen from that viewpoint. Change the viewpoint and you change the composition.
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Old 20th January 2009, 06:47 PM
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IMHO, they aren't the same and they can exist without one another. Take a look at Minor White's work, so many of his images with a complete absence of perspective, just based on distribution (composition) of elements to form an image.
You're left to imagine, as there's no information present regarding scale, width, distance, nothing, just a raw, puzzling and pure visual experience.

My 2 cents


Cheers


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Old 20th January 2009, 06:49 PM
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I disagree. Composition is the arrangement of items or 'bits' within a framework that makes the picture. These can be two or three dimensional. Perspective is the visual effect of distance, whereby the projected lines of objects diminish to vanishing points. Perspective is ALWAYS there in reality, although it was well into the middle ages before artists learned how to portray it. If you look at Roman or Egyptian art there is a huge element of composition, but absolutely no perspective shown at all. They are disparate facorts which can exist together, but don't have to.
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Old 20th January 2009, 07:25 PM
Richard Gould Richard Gould is offline
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I completely agree with you peter Richard
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Old 20th January 2009, 07:26 PM
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Perspective gives depth to an image. But it is your subconcious visual perception system that does this for you. Take a 6ft man in the foreground and a 6ft man in the background and the relative size of the men in the rendered image is auto processed by your subconscious to tell you that one is nearer than the other. There is nothing in the actual image, which is two dimensional, that tells you that, other than your subconscious making sense of it. And it is easy to fool your subconcious system. One man could be 3ft tall and the other 6ft tall and you could arrange the relative distances to make them have the same phsyical size in the print and you wouldn't be able to say one was nearer than the other unless there were some other visual clues in the image. So using perspective is about understnading how the average visual perception system of humans will interpret what they are seeing in a two dimensional image. And composing the objects in the image to play with that is fair game. So apparent perspective can be set using careful composition.
Typically an image of a group of people including their boss would put the boss in the foreground to make them appear bigger and more important. Easy to play games and put some employee slightly forward of the boss and get close up to make the foreground employee look much more important than the boss. But if the boss is paying you might not get a second commission...

AA's "The Negative" has an image of two pianists and he explains how he arranged them to keep their relative sizes similar by moving further from them and using a longer focal length lens. Had he come closer the woman would have looked much bigger. So camera position relative to two different objects in a subject has an effect on the relative size of those objects to one another in the final image and therefore how our visual perception system perceives their relative distance and importance.
So I'd say composition and perspective are tied together. You have control over both and if you have control over apparent perspective, then it is a compositional tool at your disposal.
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Old 20th January 2009, 09:27 PM
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Isn't perspective an element of composition?
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Old 20th January 2009, 11:10 PM
Victor Krag Victor Krag is offline
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Yep, much of what others have said sounds right to me. Also I think that composition is not something that can be correct or incorrect where as perspective can be incorrect if the rules of the vanshing point are not applied or shadows from varying light sources are not uniform. How about MC Escher ? Good or bad compositions, but the perspective is intentionally wrong on his famous works and that is the composition.. maybe MC Escher was asking the very same question..
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Old 21st January 2009, 07:23 AM
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Excellent point Victor. Escher is one of my favourite artists and he illustrates perfectly that you can have composition without perspective, and composition with correct or incorrect perspective.

Steven, I think perspective CAN be a PART of composition, but isn't necessarly so...
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Old 21st January 2009, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Hogan View Post
Excellent point Victor. Escher is one of my favourite artists and he illustrates perfectly that you can have composition without perspective, and composition with correct or incorrect perspective.

Steven, I think perspective CAN be a PART of composition, but isn't necessarly so...
I think you are right Peter, Victor illustrates that well by citing Escher. I was halfway through a bottle of Claret when I proposed that notion though.
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