Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Curves aren't just attractive on woman. Photograph Composition Technique

In this post I'll be discussing a photograph compositional technique involving curves (otherwise known as arch). Just like my last post where I discussed the "rule of thirds", this compositional concept is based on how the human eye naturally scans an image. Unlike the rule of thirds, the "Arch" or "Curve" creates direction, and leads the eye in a particular direction.

(Taken at Sunset Cliffs San Diego, CA)

Here is a good example of an image with a nice curve in it. Take a second to look at it. Where do your eyes go? Do your eyes follow the curve? How about the shore line?

Now lets see how this image was composed. I have added the rule of thirds grid, and traced the curve. Notice how the curve avoids the center. Also, notice how the shore line and the top of the cliff are aligned using the rule of thirds. the curve brings your eye round the image.

(Taken at Sunset Cliffs, San Diego, CA)

Since it was a great day when I shot these photos, I managed to capture another example.

In this example you can also see that the curve avoids the center grid. Also, notice how the curve almost intersects with the intersection lines of the grid. This is not a steadfast rule, but in this example, it works.

The most pleasing, and hardest to find curve is the coveted "S-Curve". Learning to identify, and photograph these curves is a challenge for any photographer.

(Taken in Hawaii by Crystal)

Here's a great example of an image containing an S-Curve. Can you see the curve? Would you be able to notice this curve before looking through the viewfinder?

I hope these examples help unlock the creative photographer in you!

To see more of my tips, visit my other blog entries:

Great product photos using the camera you already have.
Grain and ISO.
Shutter speed, shutter WHAT?
Aperture, and the size of your hole.
Rule of Thirds (sometimes).

My Artfire page: