The importance of composition was referred to briefly in the article under the heading ‘How to improve your images’.
Lets now have a closer look at this topic and explore how we can improve our images.
When we see and / or feel that there is something special or unique confronting us, we need to ask ourselves both what is it exactly and why?
Since we are not considering ‘snapshots’ but rather images that convey something of value and meaning we need to pause (for a moment) and answer these 2 questions. If we are not sure what our ‘subject’ is
and / or why we want to create this image, how are we going to build our image space accordingly?
We do this by putting together / constructing and arranging the various components in the image space to provide the picture we want.
The result should indicate why I am taking this picture and becomes an effective form of communication that indicates a message and / or feelings.
This is also an integral / essential part of visual design.
The following are suggestions that will help us in the ‘design’ of our image space.
1) The choice of colors is important including their placement and size. An important point to remember is the fact that our eye is naturally drawn to pale / white areas and this may prevent our focus on the real subject.
2) The direction (back, side, front) of light falling on our subject is another important consideration and may involve moving around to find the best position to photograph.
3) Generally speaking there needs to be a ‘center of interest’. We divide our image space into thirds and ‘balance’ will occur if the center of interest lies on one of the intersecting lines. If there is a second (less important) center of interest this should be placed in the opposite / opposing intersection.
4) The position of the horizon should always be level and never in the middle of the frame.
5) Watch for background ‘clutter’. Remove all objects that do not contribute to the quality of the image space being built.
6) The use of lines, natural or otherwise provides a ‘connection’ to different parts of the image space. These lines can be straight or curved and each will provide different ‘messages’.
7) Another option worth consideration is framing our object within, for example archways or branches that will lead our eye (and attention) to our subject.
8) It is also important to remember that some subjects such as landscapes should be photographed as ‘horizontal’ whereas portraits / people may well require a ‘vertical’ frame.
9) When we photograph a moving figure / object allow more space in front of the subject. This will appear more natural and provide a better-balanced image space.
10) Experiment and even try breaking the rules above!
The quality / effectiveness of the images we take are directly related to how well we both understand and pay attention to the composition of our images. Experimentation and feedback will be of significant help.
If you found this article interesting and / or are interested in more information please contact me via my email address at: firstname.lastname@example.org