Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Project - Dividing the frame

Exercise:  Balance - 6 photographs

The purpose of this exercise is to examine an image and identify the balance of the picture. Whether the main elements of the picture are architectural, colour, tone or graphic makes no difference - the important thing is to decide how the balance works within the composition.

Balance in an image is more pleasing to the human eye. It gives a sense of harmony. In these first two images the balance is symmetrical, the point of focus centered within the frame. One vertically and the other horizontally.
Fig.1

Fig.2
Both of these images have the main point of interest located centrally within the frame. In the first image the walkway leads your eye through the frame and is more graphical as it is also in black and white. The second image uses the blocks of colour to distinguish between the main elements. I would represent the balance as follows:


Image 1.
 



Image 2.
In this third image the balance is slightly different. The sail boat is further from the centre point of the image than the tankers. Our brain knows that in reality a sail boat is smaller than an oil tanker but because it takes up more space in the frame than the larger vessel a balance is achieved. 

Image 3.
Balance of image 3.

 In this image of a succulent plant, the leaves radiate out from central point and give symmetry on all axes.
Image 4.

Equal balance of image 4.

In the next image colours play an important part in the balance. The colour purple attracts attention immediately and is placed centrally. The balance is achieved by the smatterings of moss green and stone which surround the centre.
Image 5.

Balance of image 5.
  In the images above it isn't too difficult to see how the balance is achieved. In Michael Freeman's book "The Photographer's Eye" he states that " In many pictures, a variety of elements interact, and the question of balance can only be resolved intuitively, according to what feels right." 

I agree wholeheartedly with that and it isn't always easy to see why an image works or has balance but it just looks and feels right. In this final image the balance is difficult to explain.
Image 6.
I like this image and think it works. The main point of interest is clearly weighted towards the right of the picture and there is no other obvious focal point to balance the image. I think it is the "weight" of the empty space that provides the balance in this instance. The left side of the frame has no obvious blocks of colour, only slight texture and tones to interrupt the space. The figure in the image demands your full attention. I would represent this image on the "weighing scale" as follows:


Balance of image 6.

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