Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Art & Photography tips #1 - Composition

I was cleaning up & going through some of my basic art lessons, and thought I might share some tips that apply to art & photography with you! Most of the rules of art also apply to photography as well. So whether you take photos with your cellphone, point & shoot camera, or just want to get back into painting or sketching this may be of some help to you.

Here are some tips on Composition for making more interesting art & photography.

*The term composition means 'putting together’, the purposeful layout of an arrangement.
A successful composition draws the viewer in and pulls the eye across the whole painting/photo, and finally settles on the main subject.
-- There are 10 KEYS to help create an excellent composition! - (Here are the first 2 to get you started, I'll post more tips soon!)
1.      What is the focal point? – Most important part (face/eyes/smile or the main subject)
2.    Use the Rule of Thirds
The basic principle behind the rule of thirds is to imagine breaking an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have 9 parts. As follows.
The theory is that if you place points of interest in the intersections or along the lines that your picture becomes more balanced and will enable a viewer of the image to interact with it more naturally.
Studies have shown that when viewing images that people’s eyes usually go to one of the intersection points most naturally rather than the center of the shot – using the rule of thirds works with this natural way of viewing an image rather than working against it.
 Correct Examples:

Incorrect Example: 

Example: Better!? ;)
(notice the horizon line is also composed in the bottom 1/3 of the photo as well)

I will say right up front however that sometimes the rules of are meant to be creatively broken. However a wise person once told me that if you intend to break a rule you should always learn it first to make sure your breaking of it is all the more effective!
I will be posting more tips on creating a pleasing composition soon!
~ Heather
HH Art & Photography

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