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Elements & Principles of Art & Design

Balance, Rule of THirds & the Do's and Dont's of Taking Photographs

K Soliman

on 31 October 2016

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Transcript of Elements & Principles of Art & Design

The Elements & Principles
of Art/Design

Let's take a
look at some
photographs with Symmetrical and Asymmetrical Balance
Photography & the Law
An even distribution of weight ensuring stability
Balance in composition is important to make the image successful
Balance is about making a photograph look harmonious
What is Balance?
If a photo is weighted too heavily on the top, bottom, left, or right, the viewer’s eye will fixate on that one area of the scene.
A viewer’s eye should move all around your photograph
If there is a part where the viewer’s eye is not attracted, that section becomes wasted picture space and therefore an unsuccessful picture.
How can balance help
(or hurt) my photos?
Two types of balance??
Asymmetrical (Informal) Balance
You Have:
The right to take a photograph
The right to publish a photograph
The right to sell a photograph
The right not to be harassed

However… These rights can be curbed by the rights of other parties (people)
Know Your Rights
The First Amendment says you have a legal right to take photos.
Over time, courts have interpreted “speech” to include all forms of artistic expression such as photography.
Your right is limited by government security and people’s privacy
You many not be able to photograph in prisons, military bases, courthouses, airport checkpoint, museums… You can’t photograph people in private places such as dressing rooms, restrooms, medical facilities and inside their homes.
If anyone can see it, you can shoot it
What you can’t photograph is where photography has been prohibited by law
Things that require special equipment to see… so using a long lens on a rooftop to shoot a woman on the fifth floor of an apartment building is a no-no, that’s invasion of privacy. (Technically taking the photo isn’t what’s illegal, violating the person’s privacy is.)
The Right to Take a Photo
1. Anyone in a public place can take pictures of anything they want. Public places include parks, sidewalks, malls, etc. Malls? Yeah. Even though it’s technically private property, being open to the public makes it public space.

2. If you are on public property, you can take pictures of private property. If a building, for example is visible from the sidewalk it’s fair game.

3. If you are on private property and are asked not to take pictures, you are obligated to honor that request. This includes posted signs.

4. Sensitive government buildings (military bases, nuclear facilities) can prohibit photography if it is deemed a threat to national security.
9 Legal Commandments of Photography
5. People can be photographed if they are in public (without their consent) unless they have secluded themselves and can expect a reasonable degree of privacy. Kids swimming in a fountain? Okay. Somebody entering their PIN at the ATM? Not okay.

6. The following can almost always be photographed from public places, despite popular opinion:
Accident & fire scenes, criminal activities
Children, celebrities, law enforcement officers
UFOs, the Lock Ness Monster, etc.

7. If you are challenged, you do not have to explain why you are taking pictures, nor do you have to disclose your identity (except in some cases when questioned by law enforcement officer.)
8. Private parties have very limited rights to detain you against your will, and can be subject to legal action if they harass you.

9. If someone tries to confiscate your camera and/or film, you don’t have to give it to them. If they take it by force or threaten you, they can be liable for things like theft and coercion. Even law enforcement officers need a court order.
Celebrities, public officials and private citizens involved in newsworthy incidences are all legally defined as “public figures”
Public figures actually have fewer rights to privacy than an “ordinary person”
Similarly, freedom of speech gives you the right to display and publish your photography as a form of artistic expression.
You’re right is limited by people’s privacy (defamation, libel), copyright of artwork, trademark.
Right to Publish a Photo
The only non-human subjects you cannot publish are copyrighted images, and images that give away a secret
When it comes to people:
If the subject of the photo has an expectation of privacy whether they were on public/private property
If the picture is embarrassing to a typical person, does it reveal private information that a reasonable person wouldn’t want publicly known?
Does it put the person in a false light? Does it imply something untrue about the person?
Everyone has the right to the commercial use of his or her own image. That means you can’t sell a picture of say, Brittany Spears, without her permission.
But you CAN use it for “News Value”: You can take anyone’s photo and put it in a newspaper, magazine, or web site in a news context.
What you CAN’T publish
You have the right not to be harassed or restricted in movement and the right to pursue photography as the form of “happiness.”
These rights are guaranteed by:
“…all men… are endowed… with certain unalienable Rights… among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” US Declaration of Independence
“No State shall… deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law…” 14th Amendment
You’re right not to be harassed is limited by the state’s rights to public safety, prevent interference with traffic, pedestrian movement, an investigation and trespassing on private land.
Right Not to Be Harassed
You have the right to make money from your hobby.
“Among these inalienable rights, as proclaimed in that great document, is the right of men to pursue their happiness, by which is meant the right to pursue any lawful business or vocation, in any manner not inconsistent with the equal rights of others, which may increase their prosperity or develop their faculties, so as to give them their highest employment”
You’re right to sell a photo is limited by people’s privacy, publicity (the right to control one’s own image) copyright of artwork or trademark.
You can generally use a photo in a work of art… however, using the same photo for commercial purposes encounters more restrictions.
Commercial use includes endorsement, advertising and purposes of trade
Right to Sell a Photograph
Asymmetrical balance happens when the weight of two or more lighter objects are equalized by a single heavier object
Placing the main subject off-center and balancing the "weight" with other objects (usually smaller)
A more difficult balance to achieve
A more interesting composition than symmetrical
Symmetrical (Formal) Balance
The exact same thing on either side of a dividing line
Your face is symmetrical
Symmetrical balance makes for a tranquil composition
And often static or booooooring
Subject is usually dead center
Line, Texture, Shape, Color, Emphasis & Pattern
Line, Texture, Shape, Color, Emphasis, Pattern, Balance & Rule of Thirds
Balance: Rule of Thirds
more like a
that breaks an image into thirds
both horizontally and vertically
The theory is that if you place
points of interest on the intersections,

or along the lines that your photo
becomes more balanced and will enable a
viewer of the image to interact with it more
studies have shown that when viewing images people's eyes usually go to one of the intersection points more than the center of the image
When photographing
Line up Horizons
with the horizontal lines
Line up things
like trees and
buildings and
tall objects
with the vertical
When photographing
Line up eyes with the top horizontal line
Line up a person's body with a vertical line-- object/people should avoid centering
focal points on blue dots (the intersections)
vertical objects like people, trees, buildings, telephone poles, animals (anything tall) on the vertical lines
horizons, linear elements on horizontal lines
let's take a look at some examples
using the rule of thirds
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