To take six existing photographs, decide and explain how the balance works for each picture.
Apart from one image none of the photographs have been cropped and are shown as taken – as much as possible attempting to get the balance right in the camera.
For each of the picture groups below click on the pictures to see the larger pictures.
This picture of the ceiling Southwark Cathedral was taken during one of my (many) trips to Borough Market in London. You have to pay a small fee to take pictures in the cathedral, but it’s worth it.
In terms of balance I could have looked at this image in many ways as the picture is almost completely symetrical. For the purposes of this exercise I have highlighted just one interpretation.
This image was taken at Stowe Landscape Gardens in Buckinghamshire. It’s a beautiful place to walk around and photograph with many buildings and follies that make interesting subjects.
This was taken at the Coloured Canyon on my holiday to the Sinai Peninsual in Egypt over Xmas/New Year 2009. In this image the balancing aspects of the picture overlap each other.
The London Eye is one of my favourite photographic subjects – particularly at night. This shot was taken from the Hungerford footbridge across the River Thames looking West toward the London Eye and Houses of Parliament.
When composing the shot I was specifically looking for a way to balance the dominance of the London Eye when it occupies the full height of the frame.
This picture is a relatively old one, taken while on holiday on the Greek island of Paxos (which if you’re looking for a great quiet getaway is a fantastic place to stay).
This image is a good example of how reading a picture is very subjective. For me the balance is between the boat in the foreground and the sky while others have commented (when asked) that the boat is balanced by the outcrop of land behind the boat.
This picture was taken while driving down a country road in Shropshire a couple of years ago and was a bit of a grab shot. It took a little post processing which I’ll be detailing a series of upcoming posts, but for the purposes of this exercise I’m concentrating only on the balance of the picture.
Like the last image this is another shot where balance is subjective. Again for me the balance to the tree on the left of the frame is the sky while for others (when asked) it is the field of newly growing crop in the lower right of the frame.
Getting the balance right in a photograph can have a significant impact on how the picture is ‘read’ by the viewer. In general the more balanced the picture, the better it is received.
That notwithstanding, rules can be broken. For example, Image one above the picture is perfectly symmetrical and doesn’t follow the ‘rule of thirds’ yet is a very pleasing picture.