Photographic Composition

bookcover600_400As well as being a writer Dave is also a keen photographer and has been taking photographs with an SLR for nearly 30 years.

He has taken images for local businesses, designed magazine and book covers, and had countless exhibitions around south Wales. During his time at Gartholwg Lifelong Learning Centre he developed and lectured many courses on digital photography and Adobe Photoshop. He is Adobe Certified in Photoshop and InDesign. Dave worked at the centre for 8 years.

After being made redundant, due to the council cuts, a few of his former students urged him to produce a photography book. In October 2014 he did just that and published a short guide on ‘Photography Composition‘.

This is the resulting e-book and is available to download from the Amazon website for just £3.49 and is the perfect introduction to anyone thinking about taking up photography as a hobby.

The book is Dave’s first non-fiction publication but it won’t be his last.

His main photographic interests are wildlife, travel and urban decay.

Sample chapter

As far as I’m concerned photography is an art, and photographers are artists. Some are good, some are not so good, and most opinion is just that – opinion!


Take the image above. I think it’s a great image. Great in the sense I like it. You may agree or disagree but why do I like it? Well, firstly, it reminds me of a special holiday I had with my wife and daughter when we travelled to Morocco in 2007. Secondly, I think it’s a nice, simple, colourful photograph. I also like the shape, curve and depth. If I was pushed I might say it breaks the rule of thirds in a good way, it isn’t Photoshopped at all and is more or less exactly as I saw it and took it at the time. For me it captures a magical moment in time. Members of my digital photography and Photoshop classes are also very familiar with this image as I often use it as a sample image to go through various Photoshop lessons. As a result it is a well known image and one I get ribbed about regularly in class! But whether you like it or not is unimportant to me. Whether you think it needs editing, cropping or straightening I don’t care. Why? Because I like it. And the point of this book, and my philosophy on photography is just that. If you like a photograph you took, then it is a good photograph. I often say to my classes that there are no bad photographs and I truly believe this. Yes, of course we like some images more than others but who should be the judge? A stuffy professor? A jumped up little nobody from the local camera club? An Adobe Certified Photoshop tutor? The editor of a magazine or newspaper? No, the answer is none of them. The answer is you. You are the judge.

Like all art, photography is very subjective. Just think about music, sculpture or even real ale. I like Patti Smith, Robyn Hitchcock, Peter Gabriel and Tom Petty. Some people like Elvis or The Beatles. Some people don’t like ‘The Scream’ by Edvard Munch, some people think Salvador Dali couldn’t draw or that Picasso couldn’t paint. Some people drink lager or prattle on about wine! You get my point. We are all different and our photographs are all different. Put two people together with the same digital camera and lens and send them into a city centre. Tell them to take just five photographs that capture the essence of the city. Guess what? They will walk off in different directions and take very different pictures.

2 thoughts on “Photographic Composition

  1. This is a great little book. Very informative, great images, easy to understand language, not too technical and explains the rules of composition perfectly. Quite light-hearted too, which makes a change from many other photography manuals.

  2. I was trawling through the hundreds of books on ‘photography’ and how to take better photos etc. when I stumbled upon this little e-book written by a Welsh writer and photographer that lives just a twenty or thirty mile drive away from me. If only I’d known he did classes before I’d wasted my money on so many awful tutors and books.

    This e-book is fantastic. It outlines clearly and concisely exactly how to compose an image. It is jargon-free, doesn’t harp on about shooting in RAW or having the best camera Nikon can charge you a small fortune for it just gets on with the job of educating.

    Dave’s sense of humour also shines through in the book which adds to its appeal. No stuffy professor here, this is a guide for amateurs (and many professionals from what I’ve seen at the local camera club) and tells you just what to look for.

    Highly recommended!

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