Photo of a dollar store by Andreas Gursky

Photo of a dollar store by Andreas Gursky

Your schroeppel text starts with a very astute observation

The camera is a tool for looking at the world in a certain way.  You as the cameraperson control what viewers see and what you want to show.

Take the photo above by Andreas Gursky of a dollar store.

What decisions did he make when taking this photo?

Why is this photo almost overwhelming to look at?

What do the compositional decisions communicate?

First, the shot is taken at a high angle.  If the photo were taken at the same angle as the merchandise than it wouldn't be speaking to the abundance of products shown here.

Note: this photo communicates something similar by shooting from aisle height:


Why is that?

What decision was made here that allows the photo to communicate something similar?


OK! Back to Basics! Here's a Medium Close-up


One of the commonly used tools of a shot like this is the rule of thirds. The screen is divided into thirds, and the point of interest overlaps the intersecting lines either horizontally or vertically.  

Some cameras have overlays that help you line up your subjects with the thirds and sometimes you have to visualize them.  

Watch the following movie: 

But there is always an exception to every rule.  The following shot from American Beauty creates tension and a sense of symmetry with this shot.


Lets look at all of the standard composition types for shooting people: