Hey friends! We’re excited to be on the blog today, taking a minute to talk about unconventional composition. There are many things that create a powerful image, and one of those things is composition. We see it often- photographers intending to be adventurous and unique with their photographs, but instead of creating well-intended fresh and powerful images, they end up with something that, more often than not, draws away from the subject or doesn’t make sense. It takes time and practice to create unconventionally composed images that don’t feel awkward or unnecessary. But, don’t let that keep you from trying! We want to help you stretch your creativity and try new things that add positive value to the emotion or movement of the frame! Here are are a few pointers to keep in mind the next time you want to get risky behind the camera. So many beautiful things come about when you challenge yourself in new ways!!
1. When composing an off-centred frame, allow your subject to fall to the right. In the same way that we read words from left to right, naturally, the human eye reads an image from the left to the right even without noticing it. By putting your subject on the right and allowing that breathing room in the image on the left, you encourage the viewers eye to follow the natural pattern from the left to the right, ending on your subject, exactly where you want them to.
2. Get level with your rule of thirds. Instead of tilting your camera up or down to create negative space in images, get level with what you want to photograph and keep your camera straight. When you tilt your camera instead of moving yourself behind it to create a frame using the rule of thirds, it’s easy to distort the appearance of your actual subject AND end up with silly, unwanted lines. Keeping your camera head-on ensures your lines stay straight and don’t draw away from your subject.
3. Anticipate movement. When photographing fluid motion, it’s important to anticipate your subject and know your shot. Obviously, if you’re photographing movement with more of a documentary approach and don’t know what your subject is going to do next, this would be tricky. But, if you can anticipate where your subject is going to walk or how theyre going to move next, prepare. If you’re just starting to practice photographing movement, especially on film, instead of trying to follow your subject’s movement with your lens and snap as they move, create the frame with excellent composition in your viewfinder and then allow them to move into your frame. This anticipation will result in far better composed movement shots!
We want to see your images! Share your practice with us on instagram using the hashtag #intentionallycomposed so we can see how you’re leveraging these tips! 🙂 And hangout with us more during the week at @jakestephenbeerman & @heathergracebeerman!