Composition

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by danalec99, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Why do we expect to have the main subject a lil off centered? Why is 'dead-centering' a taboo in the photographic/art community?

    Is it primarily because of the set "rule"?
     
  2. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    It's a rule because it is what works in keeping the viewers eye on the photograph. Most viewers aren't going to know the rules of composition... just what their eyes are drawn to. Of course rules are made to be broken and there are images that work with the subject in the center.
     
  3. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Let me take this image as an example:
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8726

    Why would you have her off-centered?
     
  4. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    I recommended not centering the subject. There is nowhere for my eye to go on the photograph. Utilizing the rule of 3rds keeps a viewer interested and is much more pleasing to the eye than when the subject is centered.
     
  5. Youngun

    Youngun TPF Noob!

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    It's just something to keep in mind. I've also heard that horizons shouldn't be the middle of the frame. In the end each individual scenario and the photographer make or break the rules. If you create a very nice picture with the subject dead center and the horizon in the middle no will nitpick about the "rules".
     
  6. molested_cow

    molested_cow No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Dude, seriously, why would you care about rules so much?!

    Look at the view finder, and ask yourself is it's nice. If it is, it's right! If not then find another composition!!!

    Some of you guys address photography as a form of art, and still think of rules. Let it come naturally. You won't really learn and understand it unless you learn it through realization.
     
  7. grooski

    grooski TPF Noob!

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    Well generaly you dont want to have a subject in the middle of the frame because to make a scene interesting you have to make your eye move with it. If it's in the middle you dont have to look anywhere, just in the middle. For instance you see a fence line the you kinove make it so your eye see's the front of the fence and then it has to move to see the rest of it.
     
  8. StvShoop

    StvShoop TPF Noob!

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    hell yeah :lol: you ppl are awesome 8)

    i think part of the reason why you don't put the subject right in the center is because it looks "overly measured". when you see a photo like that, i think you realize that the subject is *exactly* in the center, and this *exactness* steals your attention away from what's going on in the background. this exactness kind of gives you the default impression that everything in the photo was extremely deliberate... that's a pretty powerful effect that may be useful to the image, but only if a lot of other stuff is working along with that one effect.

    i think it also has something to do with a modern-ish notion of cropping. if you place the subject off center, then the photo looks a little more accidental, a little more likely to be something you would see in real life, and you get the feeling that the world continues beyond the edges of the image. with a centered subject, the world kind of begins and ends with the thing in the middle, which can be good for some images, but not universally, i would say.

    i like this centered-subject photo http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8704
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Rules of composition are taught to beginning artists as a place to start. They are suggestions that tend to work. At the end of every list of rules I've seen is the rule "break all above rules". It's just to get your mind perculating.
     
  10. Karalee

    Karalee hOtLiPs!

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    I just tend not to do middles because if you put something there, someones gonna look at it, see it, and move to the next. Theres no room for lingering and exploring the whole frame.

    I agree tho, theyre not really rules, more suggestions.
     
  11. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I don't think it's a rule. Center something and look at it. Most of the time, it doesn't look good :p It just makes sense.
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The rule of thirds goes way back.

    Read up about the Gestalt theory. http://www.apogeephoto.com/mag1-6/mag2-3mf.shtml
     

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