Balance and Composition in Photography


Visual elements influencing the perception of a photograph:

- the positive (or filled) space, consisting of the totality of shapes in the photograph;
- the negative space, surrounding the positive one;
- the relations between the elements of the photograph:
   - positive - negative;
   - up - down;
   - left - right.

 The photographic framing can be:

- normal;
- with a purpose or intentionate.
  Any photograph has a balance or a focus point around which turns our attention.
  Most often the physical balance point doesn't correspond to the visual one.
  An artist photographer should always a decision as to how to use the composition elements, being in a sort of imbalance in a photographic composition in which they come to balance one another.

Balanced Photographic Composition

  In a harmonious photographic composition, the elements are in balance and placed so that the photograph gives the impression of a whole and does not seem to need any other intervention.

 Unbalanced Photographic Composition

  The elements of the composition tend to change their place, the photographs starting to look like accidental, unjustified, unfinished shooting. The ambiguity of the message can be bothering and hard to grasp.

 How do you manage to achieve balance in a photograph?

A. Symmetry is a solution. Of course, it is not obligatory to have symmetry that is hidden in the elements of your composition, which could mean stillness and/or constraint.
A symmetry suggesting freedom, movement, play, life can be more inspired.

B. Another solution: creative asymmetry.
In asymmetry, the visual balance depends on:
1. Weight and importance
- placement of the subject
- size of the subject
- its colour
- its shape.
2. Placement
Placing the subject in the middle of the photograph imposes a feeling of heaviness and lack of movement. Compositional elements to counterbalance this heaviness are always a good idea to have in a photograph.