Sunday, 10 April 2011

Exercise: Balance

I found this exercise both easy and difficult.  There were some technical issues to conquer along the way, which I solved by the very timely purchase of a cheap Hanvon Tablet.  It really made a great differenc, as prior to that I was seriously struggling with my presentation.

My prior photographs basically fall into two categories:  those where balance is evident and those where I struggle to find it.  The latter group is also where my less successful images reside!

I would certainly agree with the text, that the simpler the composition of the photograph, the easier it is to determine where the balance is; ie which elements of the photograph are key to the composition.  I reached for the various reading matter which I have accumulated and also borrowed from the local library.  Looking at "street photographers" such as Cartier-Bresson, Andre Kertesz, Robert Doisneau and Marcel Bovis, in the excellent book by Clive Scott on Street Photography, I observed how they made use of balance to provide strength to a photograph.  The balance then implies a relationship between the design elements in the photograph.

In the first of my sequence of six photographs, the balance is seen between the large mass of the light coloured pyramid and the dark foliage of the relatively small tree in the bottom right.

Again, in this photograph, I have two objects which are dissimilar in size and the balance is achieved by the large mass of the clothes being close to the centre and the much smaller girl located towards the edge of the frame.  In this case of "river photography" the subject was very much aware of my presence!

In this photograph I am balancing the dark group of three people standing on the top of a set of steps on the roof of one of Gaudi's buildings in Barcelona, against the large mass of light coloured stone steps.  The steps in themselves provide movement from light to dark and this provides an additional design element in the picture.

In the picture above, colour provides the balancing element.  The cooler large mass of green is counter-balanced by the smaller areas of the hotter / stronger red and orange.

This image, obtained on a bridal shoot at the beginning of this year, utilises the large mass of dark colour and almost featureless concrete as a couterpoint to the smaller, lighter and soft image of the bride in her veil.  The large area of featureless space, I have also heard referred to as "negative" space.  I have to admit to liking this design "feature" and have made use of it in several of my photographs.

I took this photograph because of the elements which utilised the colour blue.  There is a multiplicity of lines joining and balancing the areas of blue - the large area of blue in the boat at the bottom and the blu in the sky as well as that in the closed window shutters.

Overall, an enjoyable exercise which gave me the beginnings of an insight in to one of the main design elements - that of balance.

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