Creative composition in photography
Break the rules and let your creativity take over to tell a story with your photography. There are many rules when it comes to composition in photography, symmetry, and the rule of thirds are just a couple. Being self-taught, I like to just go with what I think looks best. Who needs rules, right!
Here are some suggestions for making creative choices on composition.
I like to let the imagination wonder where a person is looking or walking. The woman in the photo below is walking down the street with a bouquet of flowers. There is nothing exciting about this photo and it doesn’t make you wonder where she is going, she is just a part of the sidewalk scene.
Here is another shot of the same woman walking but the photo has been composed with the woman on the right side of the frame. Now it looks as though she has just entered the frame giving the image some motion. There is a direction to where she is going by leaving a path to the left in the image. Isolating her out of the other people on the sidewalk makes her the focal point. Now one can wonder where she is going with those flowers. All of the arrows present in this photo also lead to asking that question.
I photographed this cat on a bench in Dublin and centered him in the frame. I usually do not do center my images, so I must have been photographing quickly that day. When I reviewed this later, I didn’t like the plain composition with the trash showing under the bench. There was little to no feeling here.
With a little creative cropping, the photo has a sense of peacefulness and shows the quiet atmosphere of the area. This one makes me want to curl up on the bench with the cat!
Composing on the side of the frame works great with faces! If a person is looking in a direction, keep their face to the side opposite of where their eyes are looking. It gives a sense of wonder to a photo.
Closer off center cropping can also show more feeling. The photo below is nice and it shows a cute little girl looking downwards.
I like this crop better, it shows more feeling and your focus might be more on what the girl is thinking or feeling.
You can make these same decisions with inanimate objects like buildings and landscape features. If you place the focal point to the right or left side of the frame, you leave the eye to follow the path of the front of the building. It can also showcase the surrounding area and tell more of a story about where the building is located. You can see the landscape in the photo below and the church is just a part of the terrain instead of the focal point.
I am including the photo I took in the Brush section of Detroit. Putting the home in the right side of the frame allows you to see the houses in the background that are all fixed up. It makes you wonder if this house has a chance of reclaiming it’s original beauty. If it had been photographed in the center of the frame, it might not have told the same story.
All photography by Robyn PorteenAdd a comment