Welcome back photogs to another installment of what makes a photo great. Last week we covered #2 – color and how color impacts a viewers eye. This week we are pulling in the 3rd component, composition. Compostion in itself is a rather big subject in photography. Good composition its paramount, it separates the photographs from the snapshots. I could probably write 10 individual posts just about the different ways you can achieve good composition, in fact we have talked about some of them in prior posts so I will link back to them in case you want to go back. Today let’s simplify and I’ll give you my personal Top 10.
1. Leading Lines
Your eye will follow the lines in the photo taking them deeper into the scene even if its out of focus you can still lead.
Having the larger profile in the background face the opposite profile in the foreground gives a nice balanced feeling to the photo. This one also works for 10. movement to I also happen to think that the movement in the subject makes you wonder what is it she’s digging for in her purse? Did she lose something? I like to tell a story.
3. Negative Space
Use the vast empty space in a photo to draw attention to your subject.
Cropping a photo can bring attention to a specific area or help create a sense of scale.
Imagine a grid overlay on this photo, 2 lines across and 2 lines from top to bottom this gives you 6 quadrants, the rule states that your subject or focal point should land in one of the areas where the lines cross one another. The leaf is off to the right while its stem leads your eye to the left, this is pleasing to the brain, and for some reason and you may not know why, you like it.
Your brain likes things to be balanced and even. Simplicity rules.
Make some one feel like they are standing right there next to you on that ledge. Lay down and shoot across an open field or (carefully) hold your camera off the edge, capturing a unique perspective makes for an outstanding capture.
Have things at different focal ranges, something in the foreground (grapes), something mid-way (vineyard groves) and something in the background (mountain range).
You can use outdoor elements like trees that line a road or something that provides just enough shape that it is recognizable like this rearview mirror. Setting the exposure for the reflection helped wash out the background framing and bringing in your eye to the girls face.
Showing a bit of blur in motion helps give the viewer a sense of what was happening at the time the shutter went ‘click’.
Have a photo with great composition? We’d love to see it in our Flickr Pool. Your photo might just even be featured here on OC Family.
See you next week when we look at 4. on our list (inspired by photographer Penny De Los Santos) camera angles.