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Composition - Creating Movement

Original article:  Composition - Creating Movement

Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds helps the photographer move the main subject away from the dead center of the composition. A secondary - but no less important - consideration in composition is to create movement with the placement of the subject.

Creating Movement in a Static Medium
Photographs unlike video clips are static in nature, a moment in time. But with thoughtful composition the photographer can create movement in this static medium. Movement created through composition is different than when it is created by effects, as described in the Shutter Speed article, where blur gives the impression of speed. When creating movement through composition the photographer is giving the eyes of the viewer a path to follow. This is a little Zen like in explanation, but it's really quite simple. By giving your subject somewhere to go in the composition, the viewers eyes will also follow that path.

Negative Space
During one of StokeDaSoul's field seminars the subject of creating movement came up. During a after-shoot-critiquing session we looked at a fellow photographer's composition of me taking a picture on the sand. The picture was technically very good - he had properly compensated for the bright sand and got the exposure deadon. His choice of long lens and large aperture gave the background a very pleasing blur. However, I noted that by placing me dead center in composition it made it a little less interesting. By using the the rule of thirds he would have a choice of either either moving me to the right or the left.

Placing the empty space on the side I was looking gave the viewers' eyes a place to go. We ended up cropping the picture down really tight moving me way to the left, this cropping allowed the viewers' imagination to think 'what is he taking a picture of?'. It gives the viewers' imagination a place to travel.

Enjoy the view... but don't get too close to the edge.

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