I think one of the many feats to photography, at least for me, is finding the perfect composition. It is the foundation to a compelling photograph, and it frustrates me, every time I look through the camera. Deciding where a subject is going to land, and how much space its going take up, where a horizon should be, yady yady ya… Everything that I see beautifully composed in front of me with my two own eyes never converts right to the 2d picture that gets captured inside the camera. So I began studying composition from old to modern day photographers. While in my studies, I stumbled upon this enriching artist, Alain Briot. I instantly fell in love with his way of composing images, The technique he uses to frame them is interesting too.
He uses an external viewfinder(not sure the name) but instead of using what he has, you can simply cut a 2:3 hole into some card stock and use it as a viewfinder! instead of the one inside the camera. Its funny because I remember my old photography teacher telling us to do this, to help simplify a scene. What excites me about this way of framing is the fact that you don’t need the camera! I can now leave my camera inside my bag, and tripod on my back, and compose scenes as if I was looking through the camera. A lot of the pain when I was composing, really, is just setting up the tripod, and getting it in the right spot.
It sounds like a dumb or silly idea, but it really helps put things in perspective, by closing one eye when looking through the custom view finder, you can better simulate the 2D realm that exists when looking through a camera. Some things I learned when using the makeshift viewfinder is:
• The closer you bring the view finder to your eye, the more your simulating a wide angle lens.
• The more you pull it away from your eye (extending your arm outwards), the more your simulating a telephoto lens perspective.
If your a photographer, try it out! Frame a nice scene or subject with your makeshift viewfinder, than re-create the composition with your camera, this way of framing is painless and fun!