4 May 2010

The Frame: Project - Dividing the frame, pt1

Exercise: Balance
6 photographs

Click here to view album

Now, this exercise is something I’ve always been interested about when it comes to photography. I’ve always noticed that when you look at photographs taken by different friends and family that some of them are amazing and others are decidedly average. Some people seem to have a natural eye for positioning the frame where as others don’t seem to spend any time reviewing the scene; they just point and click. So, this project should be really fun.

This exercise requires me to pick out half a dozen of my photographs and try and figure out the balance that I have achieved. I have depicted the balance for each picture with a weighing scale to illustrate where the balance is and there’s also a link to each original. I’ve picked out some obvious ones and a couple that were a little more difficult:

Tower Building - view original

My photo of these tower buildings has only x2 main elements so this was an easy one to figure out. The taller of the x2 towers is dominant over the smaller one in the foreground so I have placed it central to the frame. The smaller tower counter-balances the frame by being placed to the bottom left.

Water Feature - view original

This photograph has a water feature shaped like a clamshell in the foreground with the city buildings making up the background. To me, this picture again has only two main elements that pull your attention; the pearl to the left and the flowing water to the right of the frame. The water takes up a greater proportion of the frame than the pearl and, as with the tower buildings, is positioned closer to the centre creating an equal balance.

Sunset - view original

This sunset is balanced by x2 even blocks of colour; the red sky and the silhouetted ground. It is very easy to figure this one out, but you could argue that there is a third element through the centre of the frame where the ground and sky gets divided. If we were to look at this as a third element, it would be placed in the centre of the scale and not affect the balance at all.

Sushi - view original

This sushi platter was a little bit more difficult than the others to figure out and it is for that reason I included it in this exercise (for the record, I don’t even like this picture). After looking at it for a while I have decided that there are x2 main blocks of colour that achieve the balance; the ‘brighter’ groups of sushi in the fore and backgrounds, as illustrated. Again, the larger mass is placed closer to the pivot on the scale and is offset by the smaller mass placed further away from the centre.

Canopy - view original

This photograph is of a large pillar that holds of a canopy; the central opening is the main element which is centered in the frame with the canopy lines drawing away to the edges. This is a very simple composition but very balanced – I’m really found of weird photos like this one!

Man with Birds - view original

Here is my favourite photo from the ‘sequence of composition’ exercise; the man with birds. Again, there are two main elements but it could be argued that there are in fact three. For ease, I have grouped the man’s head and the parrot together as one element and the smaller bird on his hand as another. However, if I were to treat the man’s head and the parrot as x2 separate elements, it would not change the conclusion on the balance; the larger proportion of the photograph is closer to the pivot.

Now that I have completed this exercised I have a feeling that I’m going to start critiquing all my photos using the idea of the balanced scale! Please click here to view album.

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