A centered composition is in order when we want to reinforce symmetry, emphasize size, draw attention to our subject, or show calm. As I searched for subjects with which to practice this composition, I discovered that I don’t really ever want to compose centered! I mostly photograph people doing whatever they want to be doing, and rarely does that call for a centered composition.
This is the closest I came to centering my subject(s) when they were people this week. My daughters are enjoying some fan art that Rhiannon was drawing.
I spent some time photographing and recording video of Rhiannon on the piano one day too. If the piano were arranged a different way and the room were a different shape maybe it could have been a centered composition, but as it is, I can barely fit both my daughter and her piano keys into the frame with her 11’x11′ bedroom and my 50mm lens. I did try making an interesting photo of the piano using a somewhat centered composition though.
Finally, I took a walk to see if I could find something in nature to center in my lens. My first idea was that I’ve never photographed the front entrance of my neighborhood. I put my old kit lens on my camera so I could make use of the widest angle and headed out.
But when I got there I realized 1) this lens is still not wide enough to include the signs on both sides of the entrance, which would have made it a more interesting picture, and 2) this is not the way I ever see the entrance of my neighborhood, so I really don’t like this picture. I’m usually coming from camera left and turn left into my neighborhood. Where I’m standing to make this picture is just brush and trees and, further behind that, a neighborhood — no street — so no one ever sees this view.
Nearby — camera right in the previous photo — we have some pretty trees, especially this grand one. But I’ll have to try again on a sunny day.
Finally, I found my favorite subject to center this week, my own Sunset Maple Tree in my front yard.
I’m proud of this tree because we planted it ourselves just after we moved here fifteen years ago. It was a stick barely 5 feet tall back then.
Continue on our blog circle to see more, better, examples of centered composition. Next up is Trish at Autumn Leaves.