The positive impact of ‘Negative Space’


What is Negative Space' Negative space is a concept that's been used in art, design, architecture, and sculpture for many years and can bring a new creative edge to many photos, sometimes turning an average photo into an outstanding one. Negative space is simply the area surrounding the main subject in a photo, it can give your photos an entirely different feel, and create an atmosphere that a photo of the same subject filling the frame will lack. The absence of content does not mean the absence of interest, in fact negative space often adds interest as it can draw the viewers eye and place a stronger emphasis on the subject, be it a person a flower or an interesting graphic. I love to use negative space, and the opportunities are endless, the following are some of my images that I hope will inspire you for your own photography. Negative space also provides a little 'breathing room', giving your eyes somewhere to rest and preventing your image from appearing too cluttered with unnecessary detail, all of this adds up to a more engaging composition. How to use Negative Space Mastering the use of negative space can take a little time and practise, probably because we're so used to focusing on the main subject in a scene that it can seem strange to treat it almost as an afterthought. However, doing so will make you consider each element in your scene more carefully, leading to much stronger compositions Be generous with the amount of empty space you leave, and don't feel you have to cram something interesting into every square inch [...]

The positive impact of ‘Negative Space’2017-05-29T16:22:15+01:00

The frame within a frame composition trick


The frame within a frame trick, sometimes known as foreground framing, is a great way to lead the viewers eye through to the main focal point of an image, and to keep it there. The general idea is that the main subject is inside a real or implied frame, and usually other parts of the image are blocked out. There can be several benefits in using this type of composition, for example it can provide a sense of context, that is, tell you something more about the subject, as in this wedding photo of a groom as the bride and her dad walk down the church aisle towards him:- It can also provide the image with a sense of depth and layers as in this image:- Even though your subject might only reflect a small proportion of the frame, using a window or doorway to provide a clean surround can really add impact. [do action="tl-linktonatlightdoc"] [/do] [do action="tl-linktocurriculum1"] [/do] You often see the frame within a frame trick being used in films and TV dramas to show that the subject is being spied on and completely unaware of being watched (they're usually murdered seconds later!) One terrific way of using this 'being spied on' technique is taking photos through a doorway of say children playing, showing them in a natural rather than a posed way .

The frame within a frame composition trick2017-05-29T16:22:15+01:00

Use leading lines for better photography composition


Use ‘Leading Lines’ to create more dramatic images Any time there is a strong line in a photograph, the viewers eye will naturally follow along it towards the actual subject. This could be type of line, such as a telephone pole, the side of a building, a road or path, or even a dark shadow. Leading lines can add drama to images, giving the photos a more emotional and compositional power, plus they're powerful because they control the eye movement of the viewer. Quite often you can find one strong element by just making a small adjustment to your position, such as getting close to the pointing on this brickwork for a more creative portrait. by the way, the closer you get to the leading line, the more dramatic it becomes. Leading lines can be used in a subtler way, to emphasise perspective, for example. The converging lines of a road or track in a landscape shot can be used to emphasise distance and scale, or as in this case, the converging lines of a hotel corridor. Sometimes when taking say photographs of a famous location or building, you'll want to get the safe shot that you know will be fine to show the folks back home. But once that's done, take some time and think about the possibility of taking a more creative photo that you'll be happier with, look around for different angles to include leading lines. Watch out for these lines when watching dramas or films on TV or at the cinema, it’s used all the time to give more impact [...]

Use leading lines for better photography composition2020-08-26T12:10:55+01:00

Use diagonal lines for better photography composition


Use diagonal lines to add impact to your photos, it’s easy to do and can be very effective. They can also help to draw the eye through a photo. It’s a simple compositional trick that can imply action, add depth to your photos by suggesting perspective, and add a dynamic look and feel. Lines exist everywhere, in the form of walls, fences, roads, buildings and telephone wires, sometimes it's just a matter of changing the camera angle or lowering or raising the camera height. Here's an image that many people would have taken from a frontal viewpoint:- On a beach, you can often use breaking waves or the surf to create diagonal lines, this can look especially cool if you get down and take the shot from a low angle, try to avoid dropping your camera into the sea ;-) [do action="tl-linktocurriculum1"] [/do] All of the lines in previous photos were real physical lines, but diagonal lines can also be implied for better photography composition, by positioning objects, changing camera angle or maybe even when posing people. Compare these two simple shots of some friends, in the second image their heads form an imaginary diagonal line and the pose looks better than in the first. Here's another couple of simple photos for comparison, which one looks better?

Use diagonal lines for better photography composition2017-05-29T16:22:16+01:00

The Rule of Thirds


The rule of thirds is a well known fundamental photographic principle of good composition, and it's one of the first things that budding photographers learn in classes, and rightly so. However, it's only a guide, and ignoring the rule doesn't mean your photos will be dull or unbalanced. Apparently studies have shown that when we view an image, our eyes do not immediately look at the centre of that image. instead we first look around the sides of the image. This means using the rule of thirds works with this more natural way of viewing an image. If you were to draw two imaginary lines at third intervals horizontally across an image, and then 2 more vertically, where they intersect is quite often the ideal position for placing your subject or an important part of the composition. Compare the above photo with the one below, and you can immediately see that the first one looks better. Ok, I admit, that was cheating a bit because I chopped off the lovely looking sky there. [do action="tl-linktonatlightdoc"] [/do] Even in an average looking snapshot, the difference can be quite significant, compare these two shots of a bandstand in a local park, and you'll see what I mean. Bandstand in centre Bandstand on a third Even in a simple shot like this you can see that the first photo is more balanced (and looks almost interesting!). Here's another example:- You can see the rule of thirds being used all of the time in movies and TV dramas, next time you watch a film or drama, make a mental note of where the main subject is placed, especially closeups of people, their eyes [...]

The Rule of Thirds2017-05-29T16:22:16+01:00
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