Composition 2

Balance in Composition and Using Manual Settings 

Balance and depth 

Balance is a compositional technique in photography that juxtaposes images within a frame so that the objects are of equal visual weight. When different parts of a photo command your attention equally, balance is achieved.
Balancing elements is important when you frame your shots. Two things of equal importance or weight balance each other when they are evenly spaced apart but when one is heavier or stronger than the other it balances when it is closer to the centre and the smaller is further away.
Placing the main subject of your photo off centre can create a more dynamic photo as asymmetry can be appealing and create visual tension.
If an open empty space in a photo makes a scene feel empty, balance the visual weight of your subject by including other objects to fill the empty space.
The two main techniques of using balance in photography are classified as formal and informal balance.
Formal Balance
Formal balance can be defined as symmetrical balance in some way and the shot is framed so that one or more identical or similar subjects are repeated symmetrical on each sides of a given point.
Informal Balance
Informal balance can be achieved in a variety of ways. Informal balance occurs when dissimilar elements balance each other out on each side of the frame. The size of each element can be irrelevant, but often it is better to have a larger element juxtaposed with a smaller element or elements to make a good composition.
Informal balance can be more appealing compared to a formally balanced photo. Informal examples:
Size: two subjects of varying size can be used to counterbalance each other within the frame, juxtaposing size and direction to complement each other or
Depth: place a subject in the foreground to the left side of the image, and another subject background and to the right side of the image. This framing lends foreground interest and balance to the composition. This works well with the rule of thirds.
Light against dark: A small area of white in a photo balanced by a larger area of black.
Colours: A small area of vibrant colour can be balanced by a larger area of neutral colour.
Texture: Small areas with interesting textures in a photo can be balanced by larger areas of smooth, un-textured elements.

Task this week was to become comfortable in using manual settings, to look at balance and depth in composition and the relationships between subjects and include repetition and leading lines. I used a higher ISO for the interior shots.

Tate Britain 

I was looking at the stairwell patterns and lines, balance and depth in the structures and arrangement of the exhibitions.

Hampton Court

I thought the trees in the background of the main picture balanced the foreground, the formal gardens were balanced with leading lines and repeating patterns, as were the buildings and avenues. Reflections added balance.

Kew Gardens 

There was symmetrical balance in the palace and depth was provided by the foreground, mid, and background subjects, sometimes combined with a leading line. The statues and the hedges in some shots provided some juxtaposition.


Digital Enhancement 

Three of these photographs were taken with too much light and one was too dark. I adjusted the brightness, colour and clarity on the computer, deliberately over emphasising the colour.




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