Monday, February 25, 2013
Finding Compositional Balance
My doctor tells me to eat a balanced diet.
My doctor tells me to eat a balanced diet. I do this to stay healthy—which is a good thing. When my checkbook is in balance, this is a great thing. Tightrope walkers depend on balance to make a living and stay alive—a very necessary thing. I encourage you to achieve compositional balance each time you compose a photo—a fabulous thing!
To achieve balance, key elements or focal points should be distributed within the image. The balance may show symmetry from top to bottom or left to tight. This makes for a more tranquil composition. If the balance is asymmetrical, one section of the image will appear heavier. The offsetting element in a different area of the image should be strong enough to draw the viewer to it. These images typically show more movement. Balance can be achieved using offsetting strong points of color, contrasting areas of light and shadow, size relationships, or other methods of including parts of the composition to draw the viewer to all sections of the image.
The best way explain what balance means is to illustrate it in pictures. In the images that accompany this week's tip, all demonstrate the concept. In the photograph of the mountain goat, the balance works because of the direction in which he's looking. The goat on the left is balanced by the large diagonal rock on the right. Subject-wise, the rock doesn't carry as much importance as the goat but the composition is balanced by its inclusion. Had the rock not been there, the photo would be too heavily weighted on side where the goat resides.
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