Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Class #2 - Composition

Today's Topic - Composition and understating the Journey of the Eye
Our eyes are constantly looking and scanning objects.  You want to create a picture where the eyes of the viewer keep moving.  Once their eyes stop moving, they are done with your picture.  If you can figure out where your eyes travel in a picture - pretty good chance you'll understand where the viewer's eye will travel.  This will help you in framing a picture that will lead the eye of the viewer to your focal point.

The result of good composition is balance of the shapes, textures, colors, tones and the light in our pictures, and interest and attention of our viewer's eye.  This will take some practice.

A few basic ideas about Composition.....
Focal Point
- Main subject of an image and hopefully where the eye ends up.

View Point
- Think about where the photo is taken from.  Don't just stand there and point and shoot.  Look at different angles and height levels.  If you take the picture low, it will make the object look bigger and cut out the middle ground.  If you take the picture high, it will make the object look smaller.

The Rule of Thirds
- By drawing two horizontal and two vertical lines through your object - you'll create 4 intersections, or 4 sweet spots.  These are prime locations for your focal point.  Little pointer.....Horizon lines tend to look more natural if they are on one of the horizontal third lines.  You really don't want to put a horizon in the middle of a picture.  By using these sweet spots, you'll create negative space, which keeps the eye busy.

Strong Lines
- This can usually lead your viewer's eye to your subject.

- This can create visual harmony and order and a striking picture.  You can also lead the eye to your subject by breaking a pattern.

Depth and Perspective - the below can trick the viewer's brain
- Linear Perspective - is a convergence of lines as they recede from the camera.  Think a long straight road that seems to grow closer together.  This can create depth.
 - Atmospheric Haze - Depth is captured with objects further from the photographer becoming less colorful, light and lower in contrast as the light reflected is scattered.
- Diminishing Scale - Objects appear smaller as they move away from the camera

 - It is important to provide clues in the picture so the viewer can calculate the true size of an object.  Think of El Presidente in Yosemite.  If you took a picture with no one climbing up - it might look like any other rock wall.  But, if you include a climber, so the viewer can calculate the true size, it's even more impressive.

Frame within the Frame
- By including a foreground object in the picture, the viewer must "get through".  This creates depth.

Mom and Dad....get ready to participate in this week's assignment on Saturday.  I have a feeling our assignments will get harder each week.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to see the next round of pics. Hope Mom & Dad are good subjects for you.