One of the basic techniques that I use in my workshops when teaching composition is about Space and Shape, chapter 5 of Think Like A Camera

ibook2-05 space and shape


When considering how to frame a photograph, when studying it in the viewfinder, I like to think of the colors and shapes as part of a puzzle, of interlinking parts, that need to fit together for a balanced composition. The negative space is just as important as the main elements.

In the new rose book I have added a new tool to explain the visualization of shapes and how they fit together. I have actually diagrammed a photo to illustrate the shapes that I worked with on this photo of the climbing rose ‘Berries ‘n Cream’  on an arbor entering a rose garden.

Before and After Slider

I see these shapes subliminally, but except for the main element, the arbor itself, all the elements are defined by the edges of the frame. When working in the garden with the camera I always use a tripod so that I can carefully compose shapes, using the four edges of the viewfinder as my frame.

All the elements together would make a nice simple jigsaw puzzle, don’t you think?

The placement of that main element is illustrated by the Rule of Thirds, by lining up the center of the arbor in the left third of the frame.

Before and After Slider

 I think I am beginning to like this teaching process with the diagrams.