Composition- One simple word that means so much! There are so many elements to composition, but in it's simplest form it's what you leave in or take out of your frame in order to tell the story. And just like the books at your local library, the stories can range from very, very, simple, to complex novels.
A couple weeks back we talked about the rule of thirds. The idea that you want to balance your image across the frame in thirds, avoiding the center for your main focal points. And yes, there are exceptions to this rule. Like all good rules that are made to be broken, but for now let's just stick to following, the rules. :)
This week, I'd like to introduce another simple but important composition concept, leading lines. Leading lines serve the same purpose as the rule of thirds, to tell your eye where to go when looking at the photograph. Think about pathways, bridges, walls, things that create direction in your photograph. What direction do you think they should lead, have you ever even thought about it? The answer is they should lead to your subject. So let's see what that looks like.
See how the lines that stair way creates lead you right to Chloë's little face? Now what do you think would have happened if she had been positioned in the right third of the photograph?
See the difference? No matter how cute that little face was your eyes would have been drawn right out of the frame and away from her.
Some of the most common places I see people get turned around as I mentioned above, is with pathways, roads, bridges, and leaning against walls. It's really east NOT to see it unless you are looking for it, because it's a subtle thing. And of course when you are taking the picture of a subject you love so dearly, you ALWAYS see them first. But it's an important rule to learn, because ultimately it will help you control what your images are are saying.
Let's look at a couple more examples.
Again, imagine if I had shifted the frame to have her in the left third.
And yes it is that easy! Look for where the lines in your photo are leading, whether it's a horizon, a windy road, or a brick wall, and make sure it's drawing us TO your subject and not AWAY!
Finally, let's look at an example of a horizon:
Do you see how the slant of the horizon leads you right to the subject, Sydney and her daddy?
Now if they had been at the top of the hill, it still would have been a lovely photograph, but not as strong compositionally. See how the horizon would lead you right to the tree instead of the subjects?
And that's it! It's really that simple. So let's see those lines. :)
SNAP TO IT!