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Balance in Photography

Monday, November 16th, 2009 by | Filed Under: Digital Photography
 
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Is it possible to take a photograph concentrating on just the subject that has to be captured and forgetting the evenness and poise that goes along with it?

The question was intended to be rhetorical because it but an implicit rule in photography to have what we call ‘equipoise’ or ‘balance’.

Open the closet in your house where you store old photographs in their greying albums; shredded with time due to changes in weather and hapless handling. Pick up the worst possible photograph that you find. What are you looking for? A photograph in which there is an imposing and prominent point of interest on one side, with the rest of the field void or unfilled. In other words, an unbalanced photograph.

A good photograph doesn’t imperatively mean one in which there is equal importance given to the point of focus and the vicinity. Click a picture only when you decide on a primary target and a secondary one. The rest qualify as the background or fillers. Don’t let any space go waste in your photograph; make sure that it looks full. The entities you try and capture must fill up the photograph. If there is empty ground or skies, then change the angle at which you are taking the picture. Balance essentially means to have the background, foreground and the subject in equilibrium.

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It is easy to understand the concept of balance, but you can gain expertise only with practice and time. Look for photographs that lack this evenness, and also for those that could have been a wee bit more balanced. Analyze what could have been changed when the photograph was being clicked.

This is how you must acquire the right balance in your snaps:

* Chop off the edges: Use the ‘crop’ tool and remove the unnecessary field around the main image. This processing is done only later but you can learn how you could have taken a better spot to position yourself while clicking or the angle changes. Imagine the final image before you press the button! You will save a lot of post-production review.

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* Shoot from the right spot: By the trial and error method, make sure -even though that means taking several trials- that you stand at the right spot. Go closer to the object or farther. Go up or down and finally find the correct position.

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* Zoom your way: Make good use of the zooming option. Obtain the exact tightness around the entity of focus without diluting its importance in the final image. Zoom out for a wide-angle shot. Do it before you open the shutter.

* Shuffle and experiment: Interchange the positions of the elements you are photographing. Rearrange and create a different scene.

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Visiting photography exhibitions are a great way of exposing yourself to the various abilities that people have in this magnificent art. You will see a wide range of exceptional and outstanding photography, about which you will wonder how the judges will have to pick out just one, and also some pictures that are not good enough, and you will start thinking of what you would have done to turn it into one of those sensational ones.

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Learn from mistakes that have been made before. Find as many photographs as possible with a mixture of the best ones and the bad ones. Criticize and appreciate them. Say what could have been changed at the time of photography. List out the missing elements and the ones to be altered. Get more proficient at that ‘balance’ you were looking for.

Make your own rules from seeing the best snaps, and your ‘forbidden actions’ from the bad ones! And you will be on your way!

~Zahid Javali

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