I recently had the wonderful opportunity to attend a photography workshop with well-known landscape photographer Gary Hart in Yosemite National Park. My dad and I went to enjoy some father-son time and to strengthen our photography skills. Gary does image review sessions in which we each bring a photo or two that we had captured during the workshop and he critiques the images and gives us feedback. One of the thoughts that keeps playing in my mind is what he calls "Border Patrol". He says as he composes an image, he runs his eyes around the border of the scene to see if there is anything on the edge that would distract one's eye and lead your interest away from the image. If so, he will recompose or zoom-in or zoom-out to strengthen the composition and to allow the eye to be led into the subject rather than away. Sometimes this is done at the time of image capture, but often done during post-processing as well. So the next time you are in the field composing a scene or when you are working on an image in post, consider "border patrol" to strengthen your composition in order to allow the viewer to maintain interest!
Consider the image to the left. If you notice the grasses near the bottom edge of the water, there is curved line of grasses just below the reflection of half-dome. This curved line is a good example of something in the image that will draw the eye into the image to see more. I personally also like the small line of water in the middle on the extreme bottom edge to draw you in to the rest of the water, but it could be also argued that the composition could be strengthened if the bottom edge were "framed" with a solid line of grass to hold the eye into the scene as well. So there are no hard and fast rules. Remember, that you, as the photographer, are the artist, so do what is best and most pleasing to your eye!
Thanks for checking out my blog and my website! Please let me know if you see something you like! As I do more shoots, I'll continue to add more galleries. I will also add to the blog info from certain shoots and pass along info that I find interesting, educational or entertaining!
Until next time...Happy Shooting!