Composition: The Graphics Unit of Study Part 1: angles and the rule of thirds
What is a camera angle? This is the angle from which the camera photographs a subject or scene. There are a great variety of camera angles, any of which can add an interesting perspective to that which is being pictured. Sometimes the camera angle can greatly influence the audience that is viewing the photograph.
High camera angle or “bird’s eye” view. The shot as seen if you were flying over and looking down from the location a bird might see. Also commonly called a high camera angle.
Low camera angle or “worm’s eye” view. This is a very low angle as a worm might see as it crawls along the ground and looks up on the world.
The next topic: The “granny shot” or the “uncle Fred” shot.
Faces too small. No real interest. Shot from a long distance away. Composition poor. Shot straight on.
Creating more drama in a photograph. Have your subject look up at you… They don’t even need to be looking directly into the lens. Just have them look upwards for a sweet, angelic look.
Or you can ask them to look down. This creates the look of someone deep in thought... or maybe sadness.
Communication with the camera is what makes a photo resonate in a more personal way. That is accomplished through the eyes.
Direct communication with “straight on” close up shot. …the eyes will immediately tell us the mood of the subject and the feelings that are to be conveyed.
Camera Angle • High camera angle - or “bird’s eye” view • Low camera angle - or “worm’s eye” view. • The “granny shot” - or the “uncle Fred” shot. • Subject look up at you… - Creating more drama • Subject look down - deep in thought... or maybe sadness. • Makes a photo resonate - accomplished through the eyes “straight on” close up shot – Captures mood of the subject and the feelings
The Rule of Thirds …an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections.
Photo incorporating the use of the rule of thirds… Aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would.
The urge to center subjects in photographic composition is strong. Because we look at the center of a television set (or a computer monitor) to locate our subjects, often we are tempted to center our subjects in photography as well.
Composition Part 2 We are now going to spend a little bit of time reviewing the elements of art. Knowing these terms will help you to understand art elements in the future as you do more design work.
Vocabulary term: Form Form is three-dimensional and encloses volume. Cubes, spheres, and cylinders are examples of various forms.
Vocabulary term: Line The continuous mark made on some surface by a moving point. It may be two dimensional, like a pencil mark on a paper or it may be three dimensional (wire) or implied (the edge of a shape or form) often it is an outline, a contour or a silhouette.
Vocabulary term: Shape Shape is simply an enclosed space defined by other elements of art. Shapes may take on the appearance of two dimensional or three dimensional objects.
Vocabulary term: Color Color has three properties: • Hue or the name of the color, e.g. red, yellow. • Intensity or the purity and strength of the color such as brightness or dullness. • Value or the lightness or darkness of the color.
Vocabulary term: Texture Texture refers to the surface quality or "feel" of an object. Roughness, smoothness, or softness. Actual texture can be felt while simulated textures are implied by the way the artist renders areas of the picture as in this pencil drawn “texturecise”.
Vocabulary term: Space Space refers to the distance or area between, around, above or within things. It can be a description for both 2 and 3 dimensional objects.
Vocabulary term: Value Value describes the lightness or darkness of a color. Value is needed to express volume.
Elements of Art • Form • Line • Shape • Color • Texture • Space • Value
Congratulations! You just learned what the basic building blocks of art are. Remember, these are referred to as the elements – now on to the next section… the principles of art.
Art principle: Emphasis Emphasis in a composition refers to developing points of interest to pull the viewer's eye to important parts of the body of the work.
Art principle: Balance Balance is a sense of stability in the body of work. Balance can be created by repeating same shapes and by creating a feeling of equal weight.
Art principle: Harmony Harmony is achieved in a body of work by using similar elements throughout thework, harmony gives your composition an “uncomplicated” look.
Art principle: Variety Variety refers to the differences in the work. You can achieve variety by using differences in shapes, textures, colors and values in your work.
Art principle: Movement Movement adds excitement to your work by showing action and directing the viewers eye throughout the picture plane.
Art principle: Rhythm Rhythm is a type of movement in a composition. It is seen in repeating of shapes and colors. Alternating lights and darks also give a sense of rhythm.
Art principle: Proportion/scale Proportion or scale refers to the relationships of the size of objects in a body of work. Proportions give a sense of size seen as a relationship of objects such as smallness or largeness. Monumental scale
Art principle: Unity Unity is seen in a composition when all the parts equal a whole. Your work should not appear disjointed or confusing.
Principles of Art • Emphasis • Balance • Harmony • Variety • Movement • Rhythm • Proportion/scale • Unity
If you clearly understand both the elements and the principles of art and apply them to your work, you will see that the composition improves.