Friday, September 28, 2007

Composition and Line in Photography

Here is an example of the importance of line and composition in a photograph.

Look at these two photographs. Which one is more pleasing to your eye?

My thoughts:

My goal was to capture the rock wall, the ferns, and the trees behind that wall, and of course, the road leading to the pasture. I was limited in my ability to take many vantage points as there was a big ugly metal gate blocking the way. I could not shoot the photo from many angles or get any closer than I already was. I could not take it from further back as the ugly gate would have been in my way. I didn't think that the ugly gate would add beauty to the image at all. If it were an old, time-aged wooden gate, perhaps, but the gate was metal and shiny and industrial looking.

After I got home and viewed the images on a larger scale, I saw other things in the photo and these are my thoughts.

In the first photo that I took. In the first photo the focus is on the road. They eye meanders down the road which leads to a pasture. You see both sides of the farm road. Did you notice much about the rock wall and the ferns growing alongside the wall? Proabably not, instead you wonder where the road leads. I was standing up to take this photo. Although my goal was to capture the rock wall well, I felt the rock wall was a bit lost in this image.

So I took the second image by squatting down at the end of the gate, closer to the rock wall. At the time I took this what I wanted to capture was the rock wall itself and the ferns with the sunlight coming through the ferns. I wanted the road in the image. In this photo my eye is drawn to the rock wall, not the road, and my eye goes down the length of the rock wall. However the very tiny hint of the left border of the road is somehow bothersome to my eye, it is not balanced enough, so I don't love this image after all.

Now that I am home and viewing the larger images with scrutiny, my favorite is the first photo.

So much for the rock wall as focal point idea as being the goal and the 'better idea'.

Which is your favorite?

By the way this is also an example of squeezing art in where we can make it. While doing an errand I pulled into a side road to take a photo of a tree on the main road, and happened to notice this on the side road, about 30 feet from the main road I've driven on maybe 75 times, something I'd never known was there. It took just a couple of minutes to take these photos (and some others).

Photos taken by ChristineMM, New Fairfield, Connecticut, late September 2007.

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