There are essentially three classes of position (to place a single point): In the middle, a little off centre, and close to the edge.
(Photography 1:The Art of Photography,p72)
1. Take two or three photographs in which a single point is placed in different parts of the frame.
( A ‘point’ should be small in relation to the frame; if it’s too large it becomes a shape.)
How can you evaluate the pictures? How do you know whether you’ve got it right or not? Is there a right place and a wrong place for the point? For the sake of argument, let’s say the right place shouldn’t be too obvious and that the point should be clear and easy to see. As there’s now a ‘logic’ to it, you can evaluate your composition according to the logic of the point.
Image one feels unbalanced as my eye is drawn too far to the right without anything to read in the image as my eyes naturally tracks from left to right.
Image two is more comfortable as my eye is drawn from the point to the centre and back in a diagonal, yet I do not seem to scan the rest of the image.
Image three makes me scan the whole image, whilst I am drawn to the point I look around the whole of the frame. This is interesting as this composition uses the rule of thirds, however my eyes do tend to have a tendency to stay focused on the upper half of the frame. My eyes appear to have naturally read from the bottom to top.
Image four although not truly central is the strongest in that the point is the focus and you are drawn directly to the centre. This shows that centralising to the frame can create power, however the eye does not look elsewhere and this is a more ‘expected / normal’ and slightly dull approach unless if you were trying to show strength in a subject.
Image five is the most balanced to the frame, I can take in the picture as a whole including the point, again this image uses the rule of thirds however as the point is placed at a more natural eye line it is the most comfortable to view.
2. Take a number of images in which a point is placed in relationship to the frame. Can you find any place where the point is not in relationship to the frame? If it’s in relationship to the frame you can place a point in any part of the picture and the picture is balanced.
I had some trouble with using auto mode for this as my camera was very reluctant to focus on the bobbin when it was to the edge of the frame.
The only image in which I feel that the point is not in relationship to the frame would be image 2, the fact that it is cut off by the frame loses its importance to the image and I no longer look at the bobbin as being a focal point of the image. Again I have the same observations as I had previously with the point exercise in that image 6 is ‘typical’ and ‘obvious’, the image position I most like is 5 although 1,3 and 4 do still work. Image 3 and 4 are slightly more interesting because the bobbin is in the light which has added another element to the image, the same could be said of image 1 where the bobbin sits in the shadows.