Having considered the options, for the purposes of this exercise I chose to use an inanimate subject and placed it within a setting I considered to be appropriate relative to its size. With the subject and background in mind my first composition was with the subject centred in the frame, it just seemed the natural thing to do, hit the “bull’s eye”, the beginners default!
This first shot with the subject centred covers both my initial exposure that came naturally and the deliberately centred composition. So why did I do this, why did I default to this setting? Both Freeman (2007) and Prakel (2006) postulate that it is a natural reaction; thinking back to when I first started taking photographs this was my default setting and I guess it probably still is when on walkabout and faced with a quick shot or nothing. However, in this instance I feel that the subject is worthy of being framed by the free space around it as I look beyond its current state to when the natural light drops off and this solar light casts a glow on all around it. Also I feel the geometric shape and smoothness of the subject sits well surrounded by the disorder, colour and texture of the grass. I can see nothing pleasing as the subject is displaced off-centre in each successive shot; in fact that the further off-centre it moves the less I like it. At this point I begin to contemplate the word “tension”, not something I have associated with photographs before but it has come up in my reading of both Freeman (2007) and Prakel (2006); I am now asking myself whether by moving the subject off-centre I am creating tension. Clearly I need to do some further reading on this idea and gain a better understanding.
In the final analysis I feel the centred image works for me with both the subject and background sitting together well. Had it been a different subject I feel I may well have had a different view, it is very much horses for courses.
Freeman, Michael, (2007). The Photographers Eye: Comosition and Design for Better Digital Photos, The Ilex Press
Prakel, D. (2006). Basics Photography 01: composition. Second edition. Lausanne. AVA Publishing