Guidelines for Better Photographic Composition: Balance
|Here's what we're looking for. The flamingo has relaxed,
and his neck now forms a pleasing S curve against a better background. So, the S curve is
an attractive shape to look for when you compose a photograph.
|You can use other simple geometric shapes to help your
picture composition. Can you see the triangle you get by connecting imaginary lines
between the three nuns? This triangle adds strong visual unity to this picture.
|Notice how many triangles are formed by this couple and
their reflections. You can help yourself develop an artistic eye by studying pictures to
find the strength of their lines, geometric shapes, and balance.
|Achieving good balance is another one
of our guidelines for better picture composition. Notice how the leaves, the window, and
the couple all seem to be in the right place. The camera viewpoint and subject placement
were all carefully selected to create this well-balanced photograph.
|Good balance is simply the arrangement of shapes, colors,
or areas of light and dark that complement one another so that the photograph looks
well-balanced, not . . .
|. . . lopsided like this. Karen looks like she's going to
fall right out of the picture due to lack of visible support.
|Now we've moved our camera viewpoint and have included the
much-needed wheel to support our subject. Karen is still off center, but the picture is
|Imagine that these two couples are standing at either end
of a pair of scales. They are evenly balanced, so this is a classic example of symmetrical
|Here's an example of nonsymmetrical balance. The large
single head balances the smaller child on the right. In general this type of balance is
more interesting to look at than symmetrical balance.
|For example, this is a balanced photograph, but the
subjects can be separated into two vertical pictures-which tends to divide the viewer's
|There are usually several ways to arrange or balance your
subjects. You may choose the style on the left because you'd like to convey a feeling of
formality-or you may prefer the more relaxed informal pose. They're both well balanced.
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