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Break the rules: the example of composition

បានប្រកាសនៅ Photography នៅNovember 25 2021 at 09:36 AM

If you're interested in photography, you've probably heard of the rules of composition. You know, those rules that allowed you to take your first balanced and harmonious photos that you were so proud of!

If these rules are really very useful when you start to shoot, there comes a time when you will feel limited to fully express your creativity. This is why I am convinced (and I am not the only one ;-)) that you have every interest in breaking certain rules from time to time.

This is what I suggest that we do together in this article, through 5 concrete cases.

15 Types of Photography You Should Know

Center your subject

The rule of thirds is a very popular composition principle, used by both occasional and experienced photographers. It is moreover probably thanks to the rule of thirds that you learned to compose your first images… It must be said that it is particularly effective and simple to implement. For those who missed the train, here's a quick reminder. Imagine that the frame is crossed to the third by two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. The rule of thirds recommends placing items of interest along these lines of thirds or at their points of intersection.

What if you decided instead to center your subject and fully play the card of symmetry? This may seem strange to you because you have often read or heard that putting your subject in the center of the image is bad! This is partly true: if you systematically center your subjects, your photos will be sorely lacking in dynamism and the viewer will quickly become bored.

Yet, there are many elements (natural or man-made) that exhibit symmetry and can be the basis of striking photos. The choice of the subject is a determining parameter for the success of this type of photo. Therefore, favor elements or scenes with a well-marked symmetry. When framing, don't do things by halves: align symmetrical elements carefully. The human eye has the ability to detect the slightest imbalance and will consider any deviation as an anomaly.

Dare to take headless portraits

To take a portrait, it seems quite natural to photograph the model's face. It is also considered that the eyes represent the most important part and that it is therefore necessary to focus there. The success of a portrait therefore depends a lot on the facial expressions and the emotion that the model conveys.

From there, would you imagine photographing someone without including their face in the frame? Well, that's what I suggest you do by making headless portraits. So of course I'm not talking about beheading your subject: I accept no responsibility if you suddenly have a fit of madness while reading this article ? No, I'm talking here about framing so that the head of your subject does not appear on the image.

A portrait without a head is generally not expected: it is a good way to challenge the viewer, to get him to ask questions. Attention is paid less to the subject, the environment occupies a more important place and can have a narrative role. By not showing your model's face you can also emphasize a secondary element (clothing, accessory, tattoo, etc.).

Frame wide

Do you know what is one of the main weaknesses of the beginner photographer? Well I give it to you in a thousand: it is too wide! The subject then finds himself lost in the image, surrounded by more or less interesting elements. This is why it is generally recommended to fill the frame well with your subject to take strong photos.

What if you made broad framing a strength rather than a weakness? In fact, not everything is all black or all white. Framing wide is not necessarily bad in itself, but it has to be done wisely. The main interest of this type of framing is to place the subject in its context. The wide framing is for example often used in animal photography to situate the natural environment in which the animal evolves.

Before you press the shutter button, take the necessary time to analyze what you have in front of you. You must ask yourself if this or that element present in the frame brings something to the composition or rather tends to undermine it. With experience you will quickly come to see if a scene lends itself to wide framing or not.

Rotate the camera

When taking pictures you are careful to position your camera horizontally or vertically. This concern for horizontality (or verticality) is so important that most editing software offers a feature to straighten a tilted photo. Taking 'straight' photos therefore seems to be the norm and that is what we expect from a successful photo.

Once again, it can be interesting to reverse this rule. Have you ever tried rotating your camera to find a better composition? By doing this, you will play with the guidelines and bring dynamism to your photos. Observe the image opposite: the diagonal line formed by the stem of the flower reinforces the composition.

This technique also works for portraits, whether they are family portraits or more formal portraits. The institutional photographers are particularly keen to illustrate the dynamism of a company and its employees. In landscape photography, this technique is less common because we immediately perceive a wobbly horizon as a defect. But that shouldn't stop you from trying it out! In this case, go ahead frankly so that we know that this is a deliberate choice and not a lack of precision in the shot. Check more on dzoptics.com.

Use negative space

The subject is the basic element of a photo. Even if you don't always think about it when you press the shutter button, the subject often occupies the whole mind of the photographer. You take care to position it correctly in the frame so that it is highlighted, you focus on it and you adjust the depth of field accordingly, etc.

How about stepping away from the subject for a few moments and giving it a little more importance? We speak of negative space to characterize the empty part of a photo. Even if it may seem paradoxical to be interested in this area of ​​the image, it is a good way to bring originality to your photos.

Contrary to what one might think, the presence of a large empty area reinforces the subject. To do this, make sure that the negative space is sufficiently neutral and uniform. The negative space is indeed all the more effective if it does not come into conflict with the subject.

Compositions using negative space are minimalist and generally have a strong impact on the viewer. In landscape photography, this technique can be used to give an impression of immensity. Imagine, for example, a boat surrounded by a vast body of water or a sky “crushing” a small strip of land that you would have left below the frame.

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