Sunday, 16 August 2009

Learn about composition from television

If you are watching a panel game on TV then teams of three, four or five are made for the shape of a television. If you have a widescreen TV then the director could almost show you the two teams and the host between them. Think of University Challenge. When they are asking the questions to both teams then one team is above the other. It fits the screen alright and one team is not a bad shape for television.

You can learn about the art of cropping not just from television. Learn from artists. Rules of composition are there to be broken but you have to learn the rules first before you know whether they are broken. Keep the subject in the frame. Make the point of interst follow the rule of thirds. Think about whether the subject fits into landscape or portrait. Are there any lines in the photo that cause you to look around the picture? Think about paths that lead you into a picture, a line of ducklings or anything that can take your interest. If there is something you can use then use it. The worst that can happen to your work of art is that someone glances and then looks away.

I have written this before but it is worth repeating. We read from left to right. We look at pictures from left to right. Can you lead the observer into the photograph? If the sunset is the main interest in the photo then put it in the top right or bottom right crosses for the line of thirds. On television you may have a presenter and a logo. Is the logo more important? If this is your photo which side would you place the logo and which side the presenter? Does it vary depending on a particular news item and a particular logo?

Groucho Marx said that television was very educational because whenever one was turned on he would leave the room and read a book. There is a little more to it than that but you can learn about composition.

Happy snapping

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