COMPOSING: Creating an Abstract or Geometric Composition
PLEASE REVIEW LAST YEAR NOTES ON COMPOSITION!
1. Be a picture director Take an extra minute to compose your photograph so that the reason you are taking it is clearly evident. Control your canvas by moving subjects, props, or your angle to add context and see things in a better way.
2. Focus on good stuff/ eliminate unimportant Don’t include too much. Extra elements can confuse things. Strengthen your subject by eliminating all unimportant components and background clutter.
3. Choosing a main point of interest
4. Experiment with Different Vantage Points (Angles of View) Experiment with different angles. Eye level is great for a lot of shots. But if you want more from your photos, you have to explore. Get close and fill the frame. Crouch down and shoot up at your subject or shoot along the floor. Get up on a chair or table and shoot from above. Just be careful or you might be icing your ankle while viewing the results.
5.Placing the subject off-center or follow the Rule of Thirds. Placing the subject in the middle of the frame makes a picture more static and less interesting. Imagine a tic-tac-toe board over your viewfinder and position the subject toward one of the intersections. With landscapes, keep the horizon along the lower third to give a feeling of spaciousness. Position the horizon along the upper third to give a feeling of nearness or intimacy.
6. Using leading lines Lines are everywhere around us. In people, trees, walls, shadows—you just have to look for them. These natural lines can strengthen composition by leading the viewer’s eyes toward your subject. Diagonal lines can add energy. Curved lines can add soft elegance. Using a road or path as a leading line can add depth.
7. Avoiding distracting backgrounds Before you shoot, take a look around for an uncomplicated backdrop that complements the subject instead of competing with it. Beware of trees or poles sprouting from your subject's head. Even better: Find a background that draws the viewer's eye to the most important part of the picture.
8. Include foreground objects Framing your subject with elements in the foreground can also add scale and depth to pictures. Overhanging tree branches, doorways, anything that covers at least two sides of the photo can give a three-dimensional effect that invites viewers into the image.
9. Go Vertical. Rotate the camera 90 degrees to compare the different effects on composition, even when you might not think it necessary. A composition that naturally lends itself to horizontal can make a stunning vertical picture.
10.Framing - Watch the edge! Place your subject close to the edge of the frame and experiment with radical crops. If your subject is in motion, give them plenty of space within the frame to move into.
11.Balance – Use Asymmetry & Geometry Off-center subjects can be balanced on the opposite side of the frame with leading lines, shadows, and objects in the foreground or background. Balance can also be achieved by creating simple geometric shapes. This makes images naturally easier to decipher and more pleasing to the eye. This photo is a good example of subjects creating a triangle, which brings strong balance and unity to the image.
12. Leave something to the imagination. Sharp, detailed images are the norm. Purposely leave part of your main subject out of focus. Just focus on something in front of or far beyond the subject to create a dream-like effect.
Project: After reviewing the rule of thirds, composition guidelines and visiting various websites, you are to photograph the following (refer to examples you have found and placed in your sketchbook):
Plan Your Photo Composition (36 works): FILM 1. Hands (such as braiding hair, holding something, working on something) (four works) 2. Feet/Shoes (4 works) 3. Geometric Shadows (five works) 4. Organic Forms (five works) 5. White on white (four works) 6. Lines (four works) - must use different types of lines 7. Glass/transparency (five works) 8. Rule of Thirds (five works)
You will turn in darkroom contact sheet to receive credit. We will have a class critique on the prints to help you determine which compositions work best in regard to the rule of thirds and how to photograph your subject with more interesting view points to attract viewers to your compositions. Print one 8" x 10" of each of your best FOUR photos for your portfolio.