A round peg in a square…

You find beautiful, symmetrical, round flower. The first thing you might try as a photographer is to get the camera parallel – so all the petal edges are in focus. And get all of the flower in the frame. But where to put it in the frame?

img_3093bloodroot.jpg img_3126bloodroot.jpg

Centered in the frame – like the shot on the left – always is the least interesting and least dynamic spot in a photograph. Nothing wrong with it, but it doesn’t say that much. You can try to fix it by putting the flower to the side, or cutting down on the symmetrical open space and cropping to a square, or crop to a 4:3 aspect ratio and push the flower off center. Roundness is a bit of a curse in a square or rectangular frame.

Why not try something different? Drop down and make an image from a lower angle and get in close and crop the flower in the frame, like the image on the left. Now the flower center dominates the frame and the the petals cut across the frame on a diagonal.

Both of these compositions have a place. In the right context, for instance as an image with text in the open spaces, the first one could be really useful. I prefer the second or maybe the alternative composition in the last post as an images on their own.

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4 thoughts on “A round peg in a square…

  1. Tom, when I first started shooting flowers, I had this same dilemma. I love closeup shots like your second image, and I also like a bit of a stem, with the actual flower off center. You’re right about dropping down and creating from a lower angle – good advice there.

    (*I have instructions from MacroArtInWhatshisname to tell you some redneck in S. Carolina is sending visitors to your Nature Diary.)

  2. Just lovely…the whites are so good and strong. I also was sent here from MacroArtInWhatshisname to tell you some redneck in S. Carolina is sending visitors to your Nature Diary.

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