This post is my learning log for exercise 2 “Object in different positions in the frame” in TAOP project 1: Looking through the viewfinder.

The purpose of the exercise was to take a series of pictures with the subject placed in different parts of the frame and analyse which one ‘works’ best.

I picked a broken ceramic headstone as my subject – the sadness of the scene spoke to me.

Fig 1: Centre placement

Fig 2: Top left

Fig 3: Bottom right

Fig 4: Bottom left

Bearing the assignment in mind, I first placed the subject right in the middle of the picture. As expected, it makes the image look very static, so I then experimented with placing the plaque approximately at the “rule of thirds” points in the upper left, bottom right and bottom left part of the image.

I found that placing the plaque in the left part of the image worked better than having it in the right half. Maybe it’s because the plaque looks a little like a face, with the broken-off piece being the front of the face; this would mean that placing it in the left of the image gives it space to “look into”. Had the plaque been missing a bit on its left, a placement in the right half of the frame would have worked better.

Fig 5: Centre left

Having already tried top left and bottom left, I finally settled on placing the plaque in the centre left and cropped closer to give it more prominence in the picture. This is the crop that works best – and that surprised me, as I had expected to prefer the plaque at the bottom left corner, giving it plenty of space to “breathe”.

Looking back over the pictures, maybe the background was a bit too busy for this exercise. However, I believe that even if it had been e.g. clean green grass, I would have ended up preferring the same view in Fig 5.