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« Taking self portrait photographs with an iphone | Main | Use perspective to improve your photography »
Sunday
Jun132010

Learn the subtle differences in photo composition

An example of using the horizon line to improve photo composition. © Allen Birnbach

Subtle changes in framing can make a big difference in the way a photograph is perceived by the viewer.

Here's an example of that.  The only difference between these two images is changing where the horizon line is placed in the photograph.  In the top photograph, the lines in the grass lead the eye from lower left to upper right, converging at the truck.  Additionally, the truck itself is placed at the junction of two intersecting lines using the rule of thirds.  And finally, the small amount of dark sky forces the viewer's eye down to the brightest part of the image, which is the truck, and the subject of the photograph.

In the image below, the picture is more about the weather.  The truck gives a sense of scale, but the real story is the ominous storm clouds rolling through the valley.  It becomes more about a sense of place and experience of wide open spaces.

 

An example of using the horizon line to improve photo composition. © Allen Birnbach

Each image has its merits and strengths.  The important thing for the photographer is to decide what message he or she wants to convey and frame accordingly.

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