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Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Dividing the frame

The next section is about how the idea of balance is fundamental in composition and how it relates to the division of the frame. The course text goes on to say that

‘balance means setting up equilibrium between two or more parts of something’.

Looking on the internet and my books, (in particular The Photographer’s Eye) I found the following:

Symmetrical  Balance (Static / Formal) - This would appear to be about equal forces balanced around the centre of the image;

  • A mirror image balance; or
  • Where 2 subjects in an image have the same visual mass.

Dynamic Balance (Asymmetrical / Informal) – This appears to be about balance of subjects that are unequal;

  • Several smaller subjects balanced with a larger subject; or
  • Smaller subject placed further away from the centre to balance a larger subject.

Visual tension – This appears to be about difference and separation of elements creating a ‘tension’ between them; Unbalanced and Dynamic Balance.

Something else I wanted to note is that in all the above points we could naturally think in 2 dimensions looking at at a photograph but the balance/unbalance could also be in the 3rd dimension. e.g. object(s) in the foreground balanced with object(s) in the background.


I also found a few references on the internet around the aspects of balance in images,   http://www.tpub.com/content/photography/14209/ had some interesting points echoed at some articles at http://ezinearticles.com/?cat=Arts-and-Entertainment:Photography;

  • objects further from the centre can appear to have more weight that one near the centre
  • objects higher in the image can appear heavier that objects of the same size in the lower part of the image
  • isolation of an object and or interesting objects can increase its weight in the composition
  • irregular shapes appear to have less weight that regular shapes

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