One compositional ‘rule’ (principle) that we’ve not talked much about since starting DPS is ‘balance’.
While it’s a difficult thing to be specific about (it’s not like the Rule of Thirds where you can identify key spots on an image by imagining lines through it) it is a compositional factor worth considering when framing shots.
Perhaps the most effective way of learning about balance is by looking at photos that don’t have it.
We’ve all taken them – shots with strong points of interest on one side of an image and ‘emptiness’ in another area.
I’m not talking about symmetry – images don’t need to be the same on each side – but sometimes images can be improved greatly by having a secondary point of interest counter balancing the main focal point of an image and providing those ‘empty’ spots with a little weight.
Achieving Balance in shots is something that photographers learn over time. The best way to learn it is to scan through some of your older images, looking for those that could be more balanced.
Of course each situation will be different and getting balance in your shots might be achieved by a variety of techniques including:
- cropping (sometimes some post production processing will achieve a lot)
- altering your shooting view point (shooting from higher up or lower down
- zooming (more tightly cropped or wider angles)
- moving an element of your picture (sometimes scenes can be rearranged)