Photographic Composition Part Two For audio, click the speaker icon on each slide.
Remember, a good composition is a pleasing arrangement of the elements in the photograph. A photographer needs to be able to see what the camera sees and use it in a creative way. A photographer arranges the elements in the scene so the photo is interesting enough to catch the viewer’s attention and make a statement.
Balance The photographer arranges shapes, colors, and areas of lights and darks in such a way that they appear balanced. (Symmetrical and Asymmetrical balance)
Look at this old photo from Kodak, what type of balance is shown?
It is showing Symmetrical or Formal Balance (identical halves).
This photo is showing asymmetrical or informal balance (visually balanced).
In this photo, it is symmetrically balanced but looks like two different photos.
Here are two good examples of arranging the people, or elements, of your photo in a much better way.
Is this photograph balanced? Click on the best answer. A.This is a great photo and is balanced properly. B.The photo is not balanced since it is all on the left side. It makes the viewer feel uneasy.
This photograph is not balanced. The bench is on the left side with nothing on the right side to balance it out. The photograph could be improved by placing another object in the frame on the right side or by moving the bench more to the right.
What type of balance are these photos? Click on each photo to check yourself.
Framing Framing adds depth to a photo by having an object in the foreground. Commonly used framing techniques include shooting a tree or limb, a window, a trellis, or archway.
Choose your foreground in a creative way. Just think of anything you can look through. Remember the depth of field. Do you want the foreground area in focus or blurred? If you want the foreground in focus, use a small aperture. If you want only the subject in focus, use a large aperture. Keep the lighting on the main subject. Try to choose a foreground frame that is darker than the background.
Which is a better example of framing and composition?
What is the focal point? It is not clear. This is a good example of framing. The foreground is darker. The cannon leads you visually out to the bridge.
Lighting As a photographer, you have to determine the direction of the light as well as the quantity and quality of the light coming in.
Outside shooting Daylight changes constantly and alters shapes, colors, tones, and forms in a scene. Avoid strong sunlight at noon. Strong sunlight produces dark, well-defined shadows and brilliant highlights but makes weak colors even more pale. Diffused lighting, or reflected light, is softer. It produces weak and soft shadows with dull highlights. This is referred to as “flat” lighting because it tends to flatten the form even though it shows fine detail.
Side Lighting A more interesting effect in lighting is to change your angle so the light is coming from the side. You may have to turn your subject, change your viewpoint, or wait for the sun to move. Side Lighting is great for showing textures. Side lighting is best to use in black and white photography because of the gray tones and shadows.
Is this a good example of side lighting? Click on the photo to check your answer.
Backlighting When the sun is in front and coming directly into the camera, this is backlighting the subject. It can be very good for outdoor photos with people in them. It provides a silhouette effect. You might have to use a reflector or fill-in flash to lighten up dark shadows and improve detail.
Artificial Lighting Fluorescent lights used indoors usually appear pleasing and natural except the colors can change and appear unnatural. Fluorescent lights emit blue and green light which omits reds, making everything have a greenish look. This type of lighting makes it easy to get enough light to shoot as existing photography. People are not good to shoot in fluorescent lighting as it shows dark shadows under their eyes.
Now you are ready to check your knowledge of what technique is used in each of the following photographs. Choose from the following list: Artificial light Side lighting Backlighting Symmetrical Balance Asymmetrical Balance Framing Click on each photo to check your answer.