COMPOSITION GUIDELINES !
What? Am I really going to talk about composition again? Yup ! This is one thing I like to get several writers to talk about, and read their thoughts, and see the pictures they have chosen. We can constantly learn from these artists, and find out more about the things that impress them the most. If I can post enough articles about composition, then, at some point, when you go to take a photo, you will remember these points and practice these things that have been taught on this blog, right? So, here we go again.
This time, this article written by: Terrence Starkey Gives us a unique perspective about the use of thirds, leading lines, etc. I felt uplifted after reading this article, and hope you will too. So, let's jump in:
COMPOSITION GUIDELINES FOR GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY:
Storm over Grand Canal 2” captured by PictureSocial member David Hobcote
I used the word “guidelines” in the title, because the following suggestions are not concerned with applying hard and fast rules, but rather being aware of techniques that you can utilize to excite the viewer.
- Clearly identify your subject and draw the viewer’s eyes to it.
- Eliminate background clutter to maintain focus on the subject.
- In the background is there something there that will balance the subject? Would moving the main subject one way or the other provide an interesting balance?
LINES AND PATTERNS:
When you are composing your shot look for any interesting lines such as railway lines or roads taking the eye into the image. A favorite line is the S-shape that really takes the eye on a journey through the image. An example of this could be a creek tumbling over rocks forming a small waterfall.
If you photograph buildings, look at how you can use lines to accentuate the architecture. Maybe change your viewpoint and camera level. Have the image make a bold statement.
Similarly with patterns. You might photograph a house with interesting windows. Do they make a pleasing pattern? How about a plowed field taken from a low angle, or the seats in an arena? If you look you will find patterns all around you and their creative use will deliver stunning images.
FRAMING AND SPACE:
Again this is concerned with balance in your composition. The frame obviously defines the limits of your image. Your subject should be situated within the image frame but not be crowded by it. Here’s where space comes in, and there are two types of space: positive and negative.
Positive space is that occupied by your subject, and a rough guide says that it should occupy about a third of the frame area.
Negative space is of course the remaining, supporting space that provides balance to the image. It should not compete with the subject but should serve to emphasize it. It can also give context and depth to a subject. For example, take two compositions: a beach photograph with a subject taken close up with a sea horizon behind and sand in the foreground; or, pull back on the shot to show a meandering path through sand dunes arriving at the subject posed in front of a sailing boat on the water in the background. Which composition gives more depth and context and delivers a better viewer experience?
Diagonals and triangles are variations of the power of three. Triangles are pretty obvious. If you have three elements in your composition, they stand a fair chance of creating a triangle within the image frame. The tightness of the triangle is a marker to whether this formula works for you or not.
This technique works so well that many current cameras provide a rule of thirds overlay grid to help with composition as you shoot. How many images have you seen with the horizon half way up the frame? Look at the foreground and sky; decide which is more important, then place the horizon along one of the two dividing lines of the rule of thirds grid.
About the Author:
This article was written by Terence Stanley from SLRJourney dot com. “I have been an avid amateur photographer for several years now and during that time experienced a somewhat testing but enjoyable journey into the field of digital SLR photography. To help others on a similar journey I decided to document my discoveries on all manner of topics in a clearly understandable form. The result is a web site with lots of informative articles supported by example images relating to photography in general, post processing, and getting the most out of your digital SLR camera.”
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