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10 books on composition necessary for photographers, artists, cameramen and clip makers!

Olga Golubeva. "Basics of composition"

A popular textbook on the basics of composition, intended primarily for students of art universities, which will be very useful for beginners. In his book, the author addresses the most important topics: ways of expressing an artistic image, organization, types and laws of composition, means for its harmonization, as well as features of perception of form on a plane. A capacious and practical manual is equipped with a huge number of illustrations and exercises for better assimilation of the material.

Rudolf Paranyushkin. “Composition: theory and practice of fine art”

Another study guide for students of art universities and schools. The author not only lists the main types, forms and means of constructing the composition, but also explains in sufficient detail the differences between them, paying special attention to associative and subject compositions, and also conducts compositional analysis using the example of a still life, landscape, portrait, and plot paintings. This relatively small book is ideal for those who have just begun to learn the basics of composition.

Nikolay Volkov. "Composition in painting"

A fundamental study of the famous Russian artist and art theorist Nikolai Nikolayevich Volkov is devoted to the theoretical understanding of the composition. The author derives his own definition of the concept of “composition”, isolates and describes the basic structural elements and factors of composition, relying on numerous examples from paintings of various time periods and using authoritative art history sources. The book is published in two volumes: the first is devoted directly to theoretical research, and the second contains illustrations with links to the corresponding pages of the text of the first volume.

Lydia Dyko. "Basics of composition in photography"

One of the best textbooks on composition, written by the famous Soviet cameraman Lidia Pavlovna Dyko on the basis of her lectures on photocompositions, read at the cameraman's faculty of VGIK. In his book, the author lists the basic laws and principles of composition, and also addresses the important issues of working with light and tonal patterns when creating images. This is not the only compositional textbook in the bibliography of Lydia Pavlovna, it is also necessary to mention the legendary manual “Photocomposition”, co-authored by Anatoly Golovnya, and which is considered to be almost the best Russian-language textbook on photocomposition.

Peter Fisun. "Photocomposition"

A relatively new tutorial on photocomposition, positioned by the author as an "illustrated tutorial." Indeed, the number of photos in the book is over the top, which makes the learning process more visual and accessible. The textbook is written in a concise and simple language, the author will pay special attention to working with the background, visual perception of color, as well as compositional features in portrait and landscape photography.


Mark Geyler. "Basics of composition and art photography"

A practical English-language guide for creating photographs, which is translated into Russian. The author analyzes in detail the process of working on artistic photography, dwelling in detail on composition, cropping, camera position and technical aspects of shooting. The book gives a lot of examples, and each paragraph is accompanied by practical tasks for independent work.

Lori Excel. "The Art of Photography. The power of composition ”

A colorful guide that will appeal not only to photographers, but also to beginner videographers. In addition to standard information on how to properly adjust the exposure, work with light and color, the book contains many lessons to help you understand the basics of composition, rethink spatial relationships, and break the rules for developing your own style. A separate chapter of the manual is devoted to the peculiarities of constructing a composition in conditions of sports shooting.

Michael Freeman. The Tao of Digital Photography

Translation of the book (original title “The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos”) by the famous British photographer Michael Freeman. The first half of the tutorial is devoted to the basics of composition and visual storytelling, with some paragraphs having quite specific and intriguing titles: “Stitching and Expansion,” “Gestalt Perception,” “Visual Weight,” “Circles and Rectangles,” “Several Points,” and etc. Despite the pretentious Russian translation of the name, the book will really be useful for a wide range of specialists.

Michael F. O’Brien, Norman Sibley. "The Photographic Eye: Learning to See with a Camera"

An old-school English-language publication with stunning black and white illustrations is designed to develop a sense of composition among readers and teach them to think visually. In the main part of the book, various elements of the composition are considered: lines, structures, textures, perspective, shapes. At the end, a huge set of exercises is given, with which you can improve your critical look and learn to see the world through the camera lens.

Gustavo Mercado. "The filmmaker’s eye"

This manual, unlike the previous one, is not intended for photographers, but exclusively for directors and cameramen who want to develop their “cinematic eye”. Using well-known films as an example, the author analyzes the basic principles of constructing a composition of frames and scenes, and also describes various mistakes that beginner filmmakers can make. The title of the chapters of the book already speaks of its specifics: “Medium shot”, “Long shot”, “Extreme long shot”, “Abstract shot”, “Steadicam © shot”, etc.
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