Portrait Composition Principles
Rule of Thirds
Art principles that masters have been using for centuries still hold true. To achieve a dramatic portrait composition place your subject in one of the points that intersect your composition into thirds. Do this by dividing the canvas in thirds horizontal and then vertically and place the subject on one of those points. Try it with your own compositions and see how much better the images become.
It works for this baby.
The baby photo above takes up a lot of space and adds weight to the left side of the image, so she needs to have an equal object of similar weight on the right side. In this case I used blank space on the right to achieve balance. I’ve used positive and negative space to balance out the composition.
This dentist and lawyer in the next two images have their faces in the upper third of the composition.
I’ve also used repetition of color, line and shape to make this composition work of the dentist.
The ceiling structural lines bring your eye right to his face. The windows and chairs converge behind him for a three dimensional effect. The shapes and colors repeat to add harmony and depth.
This baby portrait makes use of the rule of thirds. In addition, contrasting elements are used heavily. The rich warm copper fabric and the cool flesh of the baby’s face, the textured fabric verses the smooth skin, the calm expression and the busy fabric, all lead your eye right to the subject.
Many times I’m using multiple design principles to achieve the portraits I’m known for.
Have a lovely day,
BarbaraWant to share?:
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