10 Jan 2010

Exercise: Objects in different positions in the frame

The object of this exercise is to photograph a simple object within a large background and then frame it in different positions to see which is preferred.

The first shot is the dog is centred in the frame.   Never a great place to put the subject, unfortunately it is often where the viewfinder encourages us to put it as the autofocus of many cameras operates in that position.  A rule can always be broken but in most situations centring the subject does little to balance the photo, it prevents any kind of dynamic tension or harmony in the composition.

Here the dog is positioned to the top right of the frame.  The dog is looking out of the frame and it definitely unbalances the image by foreshortening the area of interest.  Putting the subject at the top of the frame and leaving a large blank area below is also unusual.  Our view of the world is of a relatively narrow area below the horizon and a large expanse of sky above.  When these proportions are changed without reason it looks unnatural.

Here the dog's attention is directed towards the camera and the open are in front is less of a problem.  The angle of the dog's body isn't particularly good for the position in the frame as it suggests movement to the left which would take it out of the picture.


This is probably the best position for the subject in this set.  The attention of the dog is directed into the frame and it is in a natural level from the bottom of the picture.  It is well balanced and looks good, albeit an uninspiring image.

As an alternative subject I photographed a fire hydrant on the street in Shanghai.  It has a little more interest than the dog in the snow and allowed a little more artistic expression.

This is a good crop which takes the shot a little out of it's context and allows a little imaginative play with the red stain and wet paving.  The balance is good with the red patch counterpoising the hydrant and the foreground giving added interest.


A similar crop but in the landscape view I don't particularly like the way the shot is laid out in the vertical sense. I preferred the larger foreground and in this format the wider area to the right does little to enhance the image.


I feel that this is the best of the frames for this subject. A tighter crop reveals more details on the old hydrant and it's position is well balanced to the right when compared to the stain on the left.  Added interest comes at the top of the frame with the bicycle and shop front which confirms it's location on a street.

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