Great photos can hinge on the simplest detail, and very often the great photographers understand this intuitively.
For the rest of us we have to think about it!
Fighting our natural instincts
Our natural inclination when we take camera in hand is to point it directly at what we want to photograph. It’s natural because that’s how we look at things – directly. But what works perfectly for seeing doesn’t work so well for framing a photograph. In real life we can move our heads and our eyes and tend to see more than what we focus on. When we take a photograph we have to take account of all of this peripheral sight within a single shot.
Learning to Frame like a Pro
The one composition technique that will help you to photograph like a professional is to deliberately move away from that natural instinct to ‘point and click’. Let’s just take that phrase one step further: ‘point, move, click’ – do that and you will instantly add drama and dynamism to your images.
Why it works
One of the most basic design techniques is called negative space. This is space within a design – whether it’s a graphic design, a book, a poster or a photographic image that in one sense contains nothing. It allows the eye some rest. In photographic terms, when we look at a finished photograph our eyes naturally scan the entire image. We tend to move from obvious elements (foreground objects, or people or buildings in the distance) towards the distance and the empty. If we don’t leave an empty space in the photograph then our eyes tend to keep hunting for that space. If we place the subject in the middle of the frame then our eyes try to look past the subject – at little bit like someone standing in front of the TV.
So, next time you take camera in hand, remember: point, move, click…