Exercise: Object in different positions in the frame

by Suzy Walker-Toye

Part one of the course is all about the frame. Composition in other words. The exercise on p42 is about placing objects that are set within a large, clear background in different positions within the frame. I actually did this exercise underwater in grand Cayman with the help of my little blenny friend. These blennies live in small holes in the coral, which in this case is my large background.  It is nice to show the environment that these little fish live in but it can be tricky to decide where in the frame to place them. The blenny (for the most part) is facing directly out at the camera so we don’t need to think about giving the animal some space to swim into. This is the view I finally went with:

It’s not cropped, I just moved closer to the blenny than in the other photographs. This is a pretty standard rule of thirds composition. Below is a small gallery of some the other positions I put the blenny in the frame. You can see the placement in the frame from the thumbnails because the image is so graphic, however if you click them that will launch the larger sized images.

The rule of thirds is only one of the many composotional frameworks you can apply to what might make a more pleasing photograph. Some of the others are the diagonal, golden ratio and the golden spiral. I have only just started Michael Freemans book (from the course reading list) but I’m sure it must go into all of these in detail.

As I was researching this post I made an excellent discovery about Adobe Lightroom! The crop tool actually has these tools as crop overlay guides so you can use them to help you crop your images. I took of screenshot of the golden spiral overlay, where you can see the spiral ends at the blennies head. You can rotate the spiral overlay by using the shift and O keys as a shortcut (O, not 0).

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