numerous small parts and contributing elements, none
should attract more of the viewer's attention than the
reason the picture is being made in the first place;
therefore, all other elements should merely support and
emphasize the main object. Do not allow the scene to be
cluttered with confusing elements and lines that detract
from the primary point of the picture. Select a viewpoint
that eliminates distractions so the principal subject is
readily recognized. When numerous lines or shapes are
competing for interest with the subject, it is difficult to
recognize the primary object or determine why the
picture was made.
your subject within the viewfinder frame and changing
the camera viewpoint or camera angle are two simple
ways of controlling composition.
even bring out an unusual aspect of a subject. Most of
the subjects you photograph are three-dimensional and
should be photographed from an angle (to the right or
left of and/or from higher or lower than the subject) that
subject. The photographer should study the subject from
different sides and angles. Walk around the subject and
look at it from all viewpoints. See it from elevated and
low positions as well as from eye level to find the best
composition. This greatly assists in composing the
subject for the best balance and helps to select a
background that compliments, not distracts from the
used interchangeably. They can also have different
meanings depending on how they are applied.
Viewpoint" is the camera position in relationship to the
subject. "Camera angle" is the angle in which the camera
lens is tilted; for example, a picture of sailors marching,
made from ground level with the camera held horizontal
with reference to the ground, may be referred to as a
"low viewpoint" (or camera position); however, when
this picture is made, again from ground level, but with
the camera pointed up, it may be referred to as a "low
horizontal with reference to the ground, or even pointed
however, if the camera is not held horizontal to the
ground or pointed straight down, but pointed at some
angle between horizontal and vertical, the camera
position could be referred to as a "high camera angle."
from which the average adult sees, and with the camera
horizontal. With the camera held at eye level but pointed
up or down, the camera position changes and you have
either a low or high camera angle, respectively.
low viewpoint can be used to distort scale or add strength
to a picture or to emphasize certain elements within the
picture. A low camera angle is achieved when the
camera angle is located below the point of primary
interest and pointed upward. Low angles tend to lend
strength and dominance to a subject and dramatize the
subject. Low angle shots are used when dramatic impact
is desired. This type of shot is very useful for separating
the subject from the background, for eliminating
unwanted foreground and background, and for creating
the illusion of greater size and speed (fig. 5-7).
elements within the picture area and produce a
psychological effect by minimizing the apparent
strength or size of the subject (fig. 5-8).
other elements. Every tone, mass, shape, tree, rock
amount of weight that must be arranged correctly in the
subject placement within the picture area is the factor
that must be carefully considered.
asymmetrical, or informal, balance.
Basic Photography Course