Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Contemplative Look at the Principles of Design - Emphasis

 Special attention is given to one part of a photograph.Emphasis can be achieved through placement, contrast, color, size, etc. Emphasis creates a focal point.

   Every day I look out the back door to see what is happening in the crab apple tree.  This particular morning the light etched the icy twigs beautifully.  I waited for quite some time for one of my little chickadees to land on the branches to create a focal point.  The right light, the right placement of bird on branch, it all contributed to a lovely composition in my mind...simple and elegant.

   The lines of the branches intersect at the tiny bird drawing your eye in. The bird is also located within the "magic box" and near one of the four corners which define the "law of thirds"...a compositional strategy I learned in art school.  This is always a good location for your focal point.   I've practiced this for so long that I really don't think too much about it when I'm photographing.

    Using any of the design principles I've spoken about in this series can enhance the artistic effect of your photograph but, like most photographic "rules", should not get in the way of your pure enjoyment of what is in front of you.  Perception first, appreciation second and composition third and in that order.  Practice the principles of design by all means but don't fixate on them.  It was the light on the ice that drew my attention...the rest is just me being "artsy".  Not all that important in the long run for my form of contemplative photography.


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