This is a photo I took for my B&W Photography class, which is right in my own neighborhood. This assignment called for five prints demonstrating elements of compostion including:
- Rule of Thirds — Divide scene in your viewfinder into thirds both horizontally and vertically, and place your subject alone one of the four imaginary lines or where two lines intersect. The subject should move or face toward the center of the picture, not away from it. With scenic views, do not let the horizon line divide the picture in half.
- Point of view: The photographer's view isn't always the best one — change position either higher or lower than your eye level to obtain a different perspective.
- Get in close to your subject, fill the frame.
- Lines – the movement of the eye throughout a photograph generates implied lines — there are all sorts of subjects with implied lines — trees, fences, sidewalks, horizons, etc.
- Symmetry, asymmetry, and balance — Symmetry — divide photo in half — what is on one side is on the other a mirror image. Asymmetry is when what is on one side of the photograph is not on the other side. To achieve a balanced photograph in an asymmetrical composition, there should be "equal weight" on both sides of the photograph.
So, the above photograph was one I took for this assignment. I could use implied lines, or rule of thirds, or even point of view to fulfill the visual placement criteria. However, this photograph while decent can be improved upon.
Notice the sky is washed out without any clouds (and there were large puffy cumulous clouds that day). I had to burn in the clouds (provide extra exposure time) without overdeveloping the print. I created a very sophisticated burn tool out of a cereal box generally mimicking the outline of the horizon and the big post and covering that after the initial exposure time to give more time to develop the sky. I also had to dodge (cover up) the big post during the initial exposure so that it wouldn't turn out too dark using the same sophisticated cereal box to create a post-shape.
Notice the clouds in the sky now. It took an entire class lab (2 1/2 hours) to get this print. A lot of test strips, trial and error and making a lot of burning and dodging tools. Photoshop has burning and dodging tools which I need to check out and see if I can't make the same impact on the original print digitally.