Thursday, 21 April 2011

Exercise - Positioning a point

This exercise is designed to encourage you to experiment with where you position a single point object, usually a small one, and how this can create a sense of movement in the picture. I found this a difficult exercise as when I went back over my image library (this years) I found that I tend to always place a single point at either the bottom third intersection or in the centre. This held true even when I was deliberately trying to vary it for this exercise.

Example 1.

Plants against the gravel. In the coloured image the plants were bright red and clearly showed as a point object against the much duller gravel. In this version the different texture, while less obvious still shoes as a contrast. I find this picture unbalanced and have thought several times about cropping it down - but this leads to a rather uninteresting and conventional view.

The divided version shows that the weight of the image actually falls roughly at the intersection of the thirds. (Black lines though the point centre, yellow lines on the thirds.) This is not immediately obvious to the eye, but may explain why it is more pleasing than a cropped version.

Example 2.

Here the tulip is placed slightly to the left of centre in the mid line. I think it is well balanced by the leaves at the bottom that are the same colour and intensity as the background. It is a fairly small point but  the colour intensity of the flower makes it stand out. An off centre position pulls the eye to it and then you follow the leaves to the distance.

Here the tulip is balanced on the third line but in the centre vertically. It divides up the frame and also clearly gives a sense of depth to the image which is emphasised by the contrast of the colours.

Example 3.

In both of these images the 'point' is in the centre of the frame. The squirrel is rather a dull image  and was actually taken with a plan to crop it significantly, however, it does illustrate the principle that  a small central point object gives an uninteresting overall picture. The base of the flower is also central, here it is much more prominent in the frame, and hardly qualifies as a 'pont', but it shows that , when used with purpose to emphasise a shape, a central position can be effective. Here the flower bud seems to be straining upward out of the picture.

Learning points:
  1. Think carefully about where you place the main subject
  2. Different placements are appropriate for different images
  3. Centre can be good, if used with an interesting image.

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