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Wednesday, 7 April 2010


This exercise was to take 6 already taken photographs and see how the balance works in each of them by identifying what appears to be dominant parts of the image. Then to use a weighing scale analogy to demonstrate how we feel the image ‘balances’.


In this image I sketched around the bottle and the sweets as being the 2 main elements of the image. The blue of the bottle is much larger that the red and therefore does not appear symmetrical. However from the scales diagram we can see that as the blue covers the ‘centre fulcrum’ of the scales and the red section although smaller is slightly closer to the right edge of the frame, creating a more dynamic (asymmetrical) balance.

This was a photo I took last year while experimenting with longer exposures of a busy road to create ‘light trails'’. After sketching (note I reduced the saturation of the sketch example so that it shows up more clearly) what appears to be the dominate parts of the image; the read and white light trails. I initially thought that this would be more asymmetrical than it came out however I found it relatively balanced symmetrically equally after the sketches; I feel that the road sweeping up and right drew my along and maybe that tension is what made me think that initially.

Image3 found this an interesting one; From the sketch and the scales diagram my initial thoughts are that it would appear that the image is not balanced. Subjectively though, I don’t find the image uncomfortable to look at, as I feel that the separation between the small and the large creates and sort of dynamic tension in the minds eye.

That said maybe that the position of the smaller hand being higher, further away from the bottom of the frame gives it more compositional weight?

Image4 thought that this image was fairly straightforward in balance; asymmetrical in that the dolls house larger size close to the fulcrum of the scales against the girl on the right, appearing to balance overall.


Not a great deal to add on this one. apart from a few tree branches it is pretty much symmetrically balanced.

Image6 I would try something a little different from the  scales. Albeit simple in composition that has some movement and therefore not a great example, I feel it still has a high symmetry; the lines of balance radiate from around the centre of the image  giving relative balance on all axes.

I think that the subject of balance is perhaps one of those areas that can be difficult to put down in words. Although I wouldn’t go as far to say that I found this exercise difficult, it is perhaps not an area that has been familiar to me in a formal sense. I mean that in my minds eye I think I ‘get’ the principles but I’ve never really thought about it consciously. For example, I may look at an image and say “That has a good balance to it.." and be right, however I wouldn’t necessarily have also been able to say "..because”, as it’s something my mind’s eye has made up for me subconsciously; more of a feeling that a formal set of scales.

What I hope to have gained from this exercise is to be more conscious of how balance effects a photograph but also be aware that there while good balance is mostly desired there doesn’t  necessarily have to be balance for an image to have impact and ‘work’

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