Lack of Composition. ... - Dreamstime

© Higyou
I'm sure all of us have seen this rejection reason many, many times. There have been many threads about this topic, figuring out exactly what this broad statement means.

To me, it means Unappealing to the Eye.

Ok, you say, but what does that mean? How can I make my images more 'appealing'?" you might say. "They look great to me!" And they probably are great images, or move us in some way, otherwise we wouldn't have taken them. But one thing we often forget to do is look at the image from another perspective. The best way I have found to do that is to play with the RAW file.

Pick an image that you feel is top-notch. Open the RAW file. Now you may think I'm crazy, but trust me. This has worked wonders for me. Time to play with all of the settings without thinking about creating an eye-catching image.

Play with the white balance. Don't go for perfect, just see what the settings do to the image.

Now play with the contrast, brightness, shadows, saturation, etc. Mix'em up. Move one back to neutral and the other far left, one far right with another halfway somewhere, etc. Don't worry about if the image looks awful. Just see what the different combinations of settings do to the image.

Break out the cropping tool. Crop it square, vertical, horizontal. Adjust the cant of the cropping. Move it all around! A slightly different angle can make all the difference, such as in this image.

Now that you're done playing with everything, and combinations of settings, close the RAW file.

Now open it back up.

Look at the image. Are you seeing it differently?

Photo credits: Casejustin, Higyou, Teresa Kenney.

Your article must be written in English

May 22, 2008


Thanks, now I understand!

May 22, 2008


I wasn't using your image as an example of composition, I was using it as an example of files (to go with the explanation of RAW). Sorry for the confusion.

May 21, 2008


Hi Teresa, I agree with your comments about my file "Graphics File Icons", it's not a good composition, but it wasn't meant to be. Please let me explain. This and other related files were created for a client that wanted VECTOR icons of different categories of file formats. The vector file allowed them to manipulate, scale, and recolor each icon, as well as repurpose it into other uses with no loss of resolution. (They wanted to use them in some animations in development.) Other clients found the files useful as well, so I submitted them to Dreamstime in hopes of a few more sales. Fortunately they were accepted. Now, I am not a photographer; I work in Illustrator. But, in order to get a vector file accepted on Dreamstime, you have to submit a jpg first. So this is by long way of explanation to say that the jpg didn't start out as a photo but is a required jpg of the vector file, which is the main purpose and usefulness of the file. I appreciate your blog and thank you for your comments. I'm pretty new to Dreamstime and am very impressed with the openness and support of the community. Best wishes! Joan

May 19, 2008


For me, the cropping exercise is the most valuable, since I don't shoot in RAW. I've used cropping a lot, to change the emphasis of an image, or eliminate something I didn't notice before. Thanks Teresa, for another good blog!

May 18, 2008


Very good experience!

May 17, 2008


good idea!!! it definitely opens up your eyes to see how an image can be improved. Thanks!

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