I am sure you all are having good time in this lockdown. Its a great opportunity to work on & improve your photography skills. Today we are going to talk about Photo Composition & Framing. As we all know that the photography is never ending field and there is no right or wrong here. Still there are some ways to improve your photography game and divert viewer's attention to the subject in the photo.
Let's start with some introduction to Composition & Framing. The role of any rule of composition is to draw the viewer's eye to a subject/s in a photograph. Framing means using elements of a scene to create a frame within your frame. For example, you might shoot through a doorway, curtains, branches of trees, fences, a tunnel to highlight your subject. Adding a focal point through framing tells a viewer exactly where to look.The use of framing gives a photo context. Foreground elements around your subject, for example, add to the story told by your image. A frame formed by branches or flowers indicates that the photo was taken in a forest or garden. Books surrounding the edges of the image show that the subject is in a library.
There are some ways of Composing Pictures.
Natural frames are easy to find. Look for angles that give you a “window” to shoot through. Contrasting colours between the frame and subject are also helpful in attracting a viewer’s attention.
Framing doesn’t necessarily mean you must shoot through an object in the foreground. Background elements, like a white door, can put a frame around your subject while also making use of drawing the eye to the brightest part of the photo.
Taking advantage of concentric frames makes for an interesting photo. For example, you might use a fogged up window first to frame your image, and then use an even smaller spot that’s cleared of condensation to lead your viewer to the main subject. I don't have exact kind of image to illustrate this statement. posting one somewhat similar.
As i have already told, creativity is endless in this field, still there are some basic composition rules which are to be followed.
1) Filling the Frame/Cropping/Tight Composition :
If your shot is in danger of losing impact due to a busy background/surroundings, crop in tight around your main point of focus, eliminating the background so all attention falls on your main subject. This works particularly well with portraits when you're trying to capture something more intimate and focused or are shooting in a busy location where what's around them would just cause a distraction. Filling the frame could involve you capturing them from the waist up or for more impact, fill the frame with just their face
2) Rule of Thirds :
It is the most basic of all photography rules, the rule of thirds, is all about dividing your shot into nine equal sections by a set of vertical and horizontal lines. With the imaginary frame in place, you should place the most important element(s) in your shot on one of the lines or where the lines meet. It's a technique that works well for landscapes as you can position the horizon on one of the horizontal lines that sit in the lower and upper part of the photograph while you're vertical subjects (trees etc.) can be placed on one of the two vertical lines.
3) Use Frames:
Frames have various uses when it comes to composition. They can isolate your subject, drawing the eye directly to it, they can hide unwanted items behind it, give an image depth and help create context. Your frame can be man-made (bridges, arches and fences), natural like tree branches.
4) Leading Lines:
Our eyes are unconsciously drawn along lines in images so by thinking about how, where and why you place lines in your images will change the way your audience view it. A road, for example, starting at one end of the shot and winding its way to the far end will pull the eye through the scene. You can position various focal points along your line or just have one main area focus at the end of your line that the eye will settle on. Shapes can be used in a similar way, for example, imagine a triangle and position three points of focus at the end of each point where the lines of the shape meet. By doing so you create balance in your shot as well as subtly guiding the eye.
Filling your frame with a pattern that repeats gives the shot more impact, exaggerating the size/number of the objects you're photographing. Shots, where there's symmetry in them such as lamp posts lining either side of a street, a long line of trees or a series of arches, can also be used to guide the eye to a single point. Just remember you need a focus point at the end of your shot otherwise it won't work as well. Symmetry can also involve non-related objects that resemble each other in shape, colour or texture. To be different, break the repetitive pattern with one shape/colour that stands out from the rest. You'll probably have to play around to see how positioning the 'odd one out' changes the composition/feeling of your shot.
6) Creating Depth with Layers:
Being mobile photographer has some limitations in terms of focal length and aperture adjustments. In such case having fore-, middle- and background detail will add depth to your image as well as draw the eye through the picture. Compositional elements that complement each other, for example with colour or by association, work well but do be careful with the size of objects you use and how you place them as you don't want the shot to be thrown off balance. You don't want a rock in the foreground of your landscape shot, for example, drawing the eye away from the hills and mountains in the background. Adding water to the foreground can also lighten your shot as well as adding an extra element of interest as it reflects the sky back out.
How to compose better with your smartphone
Almost all smartphones provide 3x3 grids in their stock camera app. To enable those grids head over to your Camera App Settings by Clicking the Gear icon in your Camera app & turn 3x3 Grids on. Once you do it, your camera live view screen will look somewhat like this.
As per Rule of thirds Try placing your subject/s on those 4 intersection points to draw maximum attention from user. These are the basic composition techniques in Photography. There are many more, i'll be covering more creative methods in next topics.
Photography needs practice and to be better at it you need to click everyday & experiment with your smartphone cameras. So what are you waiting for? Grab your gear right away and start clicking your surroundings. I am aware that we are limited to the space and options due to Lockdown, but thats the challenge to our imagination power. Let's make most out of it.