In addition to technical topics our course will also focus on artistic and aesthetic issues involved in photography. The first artistic topic we will explore with regard to digital photography is composition. One of the most important elements in a good photographic image is strong composition. How you put together elements in a photo can have a tremendous impact on your image. Though there are many concepts in creating good composition we will focus on three areas:
- Rule of thirds
- Leading lines
- Symmetry and patterns
Rule of thirds
When placing elements in the frame of a photo, a common approach is to place interesting elements, elements you want to emphasize at intersections in a three by three grid.
This concept is generally recognized as providing a pleasing placement of important elements in a frame. The idea is not to center the image with the picture but to place off-center at one of these four locations.
Note the picture below by Henri Cartier-Bresson
The placement of the important objects are not in the center but rather at the thirds points (man and Corona bottle).
Leading lines are some form of leading path or line or track within an image that your eye follows to direct your eye into some other place in a photo. Railroad tracks or diagonals are common examples of leading lines. To be used properly they should lead you to a point of interest in a photo. Leading lines that lead nowhere are generally ineffective. An example of leading lines is shown in the photo below by one of the most renowned photographers, Ansel Adams.
Note how the road leads your eye naturally to the church. This is an excellent example of leading lines.
Symmetry and Patterns
Symmetry is the natural concept that objects on one side match items on another side. The human mind is programmed to find symmetry pleasing. As a result, symmetry in photos can be a pleasing composition. Patterns are repeating elements within a photo. Again, humans are wired to recognize and appreciate patterns. They are another effective composition technique.
The first image below is an example of patterns in nature. The photo on the right illustrates symmetry.
More examples of composition rules and effectiveness are included below. Please read.
• Go on a photo shoot.
Select a subject, an object, or landscape and take at least 3 unique photographs illustrating each of the three composition principles shown above in lesson 2, rule of thirds, leading lines, symmetry or patterns. You should take at least 9 in all. Three for each principle.
You may wish crop or edit your images in GIMP or another photo editing program, to improve the composition, but if the image is strong enough as it is, that may not be necessary. Instructions for how to crop in Photoshop can be found here: http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/photoshop/l/bllps502f.htm
- Select one of the best images from your shoot for each principle (3 total) and upload them to Yammer.
Yammer.com, sign in using PSU ID. Search for>
IST 130 Summer Online 2017
. Request to join. I may need to approve. When you post your images on Yammer, be sure to write Lesson 2, and include some information about when and where your photos were taken, and anything else you’d like the viewer to know. Subsequent lessons should be labelled with those Lesson numbers.
Note: Although you are only uploading three photos to Yammer, do not throw away the unselected photographs from your shoot, as I may ask to see the other photos, for a variety of reasons.
• Sometime during the assignment week, make a positive or helpful comment under one other student’s image, posted on Yammer. Be sure your photographs are your own original photographs taken for this class. NEVER use a photo you have taken before class started or a photo you have taken off the Internet, if you do so, you risk failing the assignment or class. Please note that there are search methods for images, so image plagiarism is detectable.