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Transcript of Composition
By definition, a composition is the intentional arrangement of objects in the picture plane. Their are four main rules that artists follow when creating a composition:
1. The first decision you will make is to determine a "center of interest" or "focal point" for your photograph. This means that while lining up your photo in the viewfinder, you will choose something to stand out at or around the middle of your photograph. A center of interest or focal point can stand out by a contrast of color, value, size, shape, space, or texture.
Photograph by Sammi L. North Carolina Virtual Public School. The Art of Photography.
What is the center of interest or focal point in this image?
2. The second decision you will make while establishing composition in your photograph, is to look for balance. Balance can be achieved by pretending that there is an invisible vertical or horizontal axis. In determining composition, you will want the objects in your photograph have equal visual weight over both halves of a central axis. You can also crop your photo for balance using digital editing software.
Photograph by Allison B. North Carolina Virtual Public School. The Art of Photography.
What is the center of interest in this photo? What kind of balance do you see in this picture - asymmetrical or symmetrical?
3. The third decision to make when establishing composition through your viewfinder (or during the editing process), is to create visual movement. Visual movement is defined by how edges lead your eye through the composition. In other words, you want to use the edges of objects (or changes in value, color, and texture can also create edges) to lead the viewer's eye throughout the composition.
What is the center of interest in this photograph? What kind of balance is created (symmetrical or asymmetrical)? How do the edges help to lead your eye through the picture plane (the picture)? What edges does your eye follow when looking at this photograph?
Extra-Credit: To receive extra-credit, e-mail your instructor the answers to the questions to the questions in blue above each image. Please be sure to state your name and course section in your email.
What is the center of interest in this composition? What kind of balance do you see in this photograph? How is your eye led through the composition? In this composition, the negative spaces are broken up into interesting shapes. What do you think the photographer did to help break up the negative spaces?
Photograph by Ben O. North Carolina Virtual Public School. The Art of Photography.
Photograph by Madison M. North Carolina Virtual Public School. The Art of Photography.
4. The fourth consideration in creating a composition, is to think about space: In general, the positive space is space taken up by the objects within the photograph and the negative space is the empty space in between and around the objects. When preparing for your photograph, you will want to intentionally arrange or look for objects that break up negative spaces into interesting shapes themselves.