As we all know, composition is a very important element in a successful image.
When looking at an image I just published, I analysed the composition.
Firstly, here is the image:
What I noticed about my image, when studying it retrospectively, is that:
- the subject is positioned near a 'third' in the frame;
- the horizon (if you could see it through the fog) is also positioned along a third; and
- the curve of the shoreline leads the viewer into the scene, sharply left and right at the main subject.
This got me wondering about whether photographers consciously consider compositional devices when framing, or whether it comes naturally or instinctively.
I shot this image over a year ago, so I cannot recall precisely what was going through my mind as I was framing this image, but I almost certainly wasn't consciously thinking about leading lines, balance and thirds. I may have, and probably did, purposefully position that ship where it is.
The fact that the curve in this image leads the viewer around the scene and terminating at the subject, might be accidental.
I almost always compose using the rule of thirds. I purposefully frame my images that way; ie, it's a conscious choice as opposed to a natural 'reflex' or habitual action. Sometimes, though, it might be instinctive, and the result of my experience and style.
I don't often consciously think too much about composition from an analytical viewpoint; I just know what works and 'know' how to compose.
The 'rules' of composition might perhaps be so entrenched that I'm on auto-pilot and just tend to compose my images the way I do without actually thinking about it.
Do others do the same?
When you're shooting, are you consciously looking for S-curves and leading lines, and positioning subjects and horizons as per the rule of thirds, or does it 'just happen' without too much thought?
Please share your thoughts.