Thursday, April 22, 2010

Photo Lesson 101: Rule of Space

Composition Lesson 4: Rule of Space

Let’s discuss space. When taking a photo, you make a decision how much space is around your subject. In Week 1, the idea was to get close to your subject and have a clean background – so not a lot of space.  Last week you used the rule of thirds to compose your images. Many of you chose to show your subject in a wide shot, incorporating the background into your photo.

The rule of space can be applied to both tight or close-up photos of your subject and wide photos. This rule is all about leaving lead room. If your subject is looking to the side, there should be some space left in the direction he’s looking. The rule of space is a similar concept to negative space, but it refers only to the space between where the subject is looking or moving towards and the edge of the frame.

If you’re taking photos of a moving subject, whether it be a toddler, puppy, jogger or car, you should leave room in front of the subject. A moving subject needs space in the direction he’s moving.

This rule is more obvious when used with a subject moving horizontally or vertically in the frame. (The concept is more obscure if applied when the subject is moving toward or away from the photographer.) So for this week’s assignment, take photos of something moving from right to left, or left to right.  Your subject doesn’t have to move fast.  But if he is and you’re using manual settings, make sure your speed is high enough so as not to get motion blur.



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