Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rules of Composition by Guest Jason Eldridge

Guest Author: Jason Eldridge of Eldridge Studios wants to make it known that he is a photographer and not a painter.  It is important to make that distinction because of the difference in how the art is created.  There are however, aspects of photography that can benefit from the painted art.  Painting has been around for more than a millennial where as photography not quite two centuries.  Yet, many photographers forget that the word itself means “painting” with light.  While every aspect of painting does not transfer to photography there is a great deal that does.  

Every good painting has a subject. Not only does it have a subject but your eye is drawn to that subject by elements within.  One fundamental rule you should commit to memory is that the human eye is drawn to the lightest part of the image (or painting) first. 

There are some effective ways of drawing attention to your subject.  Here is a quick list of what paintings can teach you about photography:

Technique:  When you look at a painting that is technically sound you see the artist’s vision not the individual brush strokes.  Now, as you study the image the method used to create the painting will be discovered but your initial thought of the art work isn’t “I wonder what kind of brush they used”. 

In photography the Exposure Value can have the same effect.  You want people to see the image not some areas that are blown out or are too dark.  You have to understand the technical aspects of photography in order properly show your artistic vision. Watch out for blown out highlights around the edges of the frame. If you are going for a blown out look it may be effective but if that is not your intent it can be very distracting.

Leading Lines:  These are items within the painting or photograph that “lead” your eyes directly to the subject.

Sharp Eyes: If you are photographing (or painting) people or animals it is vital to keep the eyes sharp. If the eyes are not sharp the viewer will instantly know and this does not always provoke a positive response.  Why? Because our eyes are instantly drawn to the eyes of other creatures. It is just the way we as humans are designed.

Rule of Thirds: Using the rule of thirds helps to improve your overall photograph or painting but it also acts as a draw to the subject (provided the subject is defined). Again, you should not always use this rule for every photograph or painting but you will find it effective most of the time. Make sure that you understand the rule before you break it.

Depth of Field: This is a fantastic method of drawing the eye. If you have a very shallow depth of field (sharp subject with an out-of-focus background) then the area behind the subject does not cause your eyes to become distracted.

Whether you are a painter or a photographer you are an artist.  Think like an artist and your work will show.

Jason is a photographer who captures light, nature, and people with pizazz and joy. For more about him and his photographic adventures, please visit his website by clicking on his website link Eldridge Studios.

Angeline Marie of 
Angeline Marie Fine Art
Facebook Page for Angeline Marie Fine Art

1 comment:

Jason L. Eldridge said...

Thanks Angeline. I had a great time writing this post. I can't wait for the next one!

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