Composition Context Photography


The Composition Context in Point-and-Shoot Photography

Daniel Vaquero and Matthew Turk

ACM SIGGRAPH 2011 Posters
Semi-Finalist, ACM Student Research Competition
Vancouver, Canada, 2011


We present the first study on the process of framing photographs in a very common scenario: a handheld point-and-shoot camera in automatic mode. We call the contextual information given by viewfinder images, their capture parameters, and inertial sensor data collected while the user is framing a photograph the "composition context" of the photograph. By silently recording the composition context for a short period of time while a photograph is being framed, we aim to characterize typical framing patterns. This includes adjusting the camera's orientation and point of view and triggering zoom and autofocus controls. We have collected a large database of framing instances by asking users to take pictures of scenes representing common photographic situations. Our preliminary results indicate that significant and useful variations in capture parameters exist in this dataset, such as field of view, exposure time, focus, zoom, and presence of moving subjects. We plan to use the results of this study to help create new camera functionality. The new camera will preserve the interface of current point-and-shoot cameras. However, it will silently record the composition context and use it to provide the user with alternative photographs of the captured scene, computed by exploring the variations in capture parameters present in the composition context. We expect this capability to expand the photographic abilities of casual and amateur users, who often rely on automatic camera modes, without changing the widespread point-and-shoot paradigm.

Extended Abstract

Download the extended abstract in PDF format.


Download a video that illustrates preliminary results of our work.


Daniel Vaquero and Matthew Turk. The Composition Context in Point-and-Shoot Photography. In ACM SIGGRAPH 2011 Posters, Vancouver, Canada, August 2011.

BibTeX Entry

  author    = {Daniel Vaquero and Matthew Turk},
  title     = {The Composition Context in Point-and-Shoot Photography},
  booktitle = {ACM SIGGRAPH 2011 Posters},
  address   = {Vancouver, Canada},
  month     = {August},
  year      = {2011}

Related Publications

  • Daniel Vaquero and Matthew Turk. The Composition Context in Point-and-Shoot Photography. In Sixth Graduate Student Workshop on Computing (GSWC'11), Santa Barbara, California, October 2011. (extended abstract)