Composition Part 1- The Heart of the Photo


Composition is the heart of the photo.  Composition leads to the work of art that starts from inspiration.  Inspiration begins when you disconnect with the interior struggles of everyday life and free the spirit to experience the world around you.  Truly being in the moment and experiencing nature links you with all around you.

Afternoon on Foggy Mountain- Gregory Colvin Photography

It may sound like meditation, but awareness of your surroundings without interference of outside thoughts clears the mind and sharpening your senses.  Images appear where you did not see them before.  The elements begin to align and art emerges.

Joseph Cornell in his book “Listening to Nature How to Deepen Your Awareness of Nature” had this exercise.  Walk into an area that you would like to photograph.  Instead of setting up the camera and shooting.  Sit down. Wait. Relax. Be still and sense the moment. Very quietly become conscious of nature. The Native Americans called this “silent hunting”.  Nature will speak to you, but you must be quiet.  Nature speaks softly.  If you are patient, nature will reveal herself to you.  And incredible images will appear.

There are many times that I have entered the woods with camera in hand and not found anything that I wanted to photograph.  It could be that I was not ready or nature did not want to reveal herself.  Perhaps she didn’t feel photogenic that day.  Other days, scenes appear as if by magic. So don’t be disappointed if you can’t find anything to shoot on any given day.  Use that time to scout the area for future opportunities and revel in the fact that you have a chance to be outdoors.

Take this as an opportunity to plan for future shots.  At these times think, what if the light was coming from a different direction.  Coming back in the early morning or late afternoon may produce a better image.  Seasons change the landscape. Perhaps shooting in the fall, with the foliage in brilliant colors, or winter with a fresh layer of snow would create the photo that you desire.

Don’t rush yourself when seeking that image.  Time with nature is a joy all by its self.  If you don’t find anything to shoot, the sheer pleasure of being one with the outdoors is worth the experience.


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About Gregory Colvin

Gregory Colvin Photography

“Inspiration for my art is found in the natural world. Being in the midst of nature is a tranquil and revitalizing experience. Early morning and late afternoon light paints the landscape with a soft glow, fog and mist create an air of mystery. Sunbeams streaming through the tree branches craft portals of mystic radiance. Reflections on lakes and streams produce a picturesque spectacle. Using the camera as a paintbrush, I attempt to recreate these visual sensations and share them with others. My mission is to share a love of the earth and a desire to protect it.”


U.S. Federal Government-F CCPAC Art Project- Seven pieces for new building in Orlando, Florida
ArtBuzz, The 2010 Collection- 1st Place for Photography –juried art book
Tampa Bay Business Journal- Book of Lists 2010- Artist- Chosen for the collection
Tampa Bay Business Journal- Book of Lists 2008- Artist-Chosen for the collection.
Manatee Art Festival-Honorable Mention-Photography Division Crystal River, Florida
Upper Tampa Bay Library Westchase Florida- Four pieces purchased by the Friends of the Upper Tampa Bay Library Art Committee and displayed in the newly completed library.
Tampa General Hospital- two pieces placed in the permanent collection for the new addition to the hospital.
“Make a Habitat of Art”- Habitat for Humanity Juried Silent Auction Fund Raiser – Two pieces accepted for auction
Keystone Civic Association Brochure- photography included in the permanent brochure, Keystone/Odessa
ArtBuzz, The Book- 2008 Collection- Juried art book created for collectors and art galleries internationally.
Hilton Hotels Homewood Suites- 5325 Avion Park Drive, Tampa Florida- Purchased for art collection.

Juried Art Shows and Exhibits

Naples Museum of Art 2009 “Florida Contemporary Exhibition” May-June 2009
Nancy Jacey Gallery- “Treasures of Perception” Show – September 2008
Nancy Jacey Gallery- “Art at the Speed of Light” Show- June 2008
Fifth Ave. Gallery-“100% Pure Florida” Melbourne Florida
Tarpon Springs 33rd Annual Art Festival- Tarpon Springs Florida-2007
Boca Raton Museum Fine Art Show- Boca Raton Florida-2007
ArtiGras-North Palm Beach-2007
St. Johns Fine Art Show-St. Johns-Jacksonville Florida-2006
Art Harvest-Dunedin, Florida-2006
New Tampa Arts “Under the Oaks”-New Tampa, Florida-2006
Downtown Art and Living Expo-Orlando Florida-2006
Manatee Fine Art Show-Crystal River Florida-2006
Kiwanis Art Show- Safety Harbor, Florida-2005

Category(s): Arts, Being an artist, Better photography tips, Fine Art Photography Tips
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