How do I make meaning
Composing a picture
How you set up the camera to
film the arrangement of elements in your picture is very important.
A picture is successful when the elements of light, colour,
tone, form and spacing all work together. This is called composition
and the changing of any of the elements can alter the meaning
of the image for the viewer. For example a person placed in
the centre of the picture can have more impact than someone
situated in the corner of the image. A balanced composition
is generally more pleasing than a chaotic one.
||This image of Brett Whitely’s sculpture Almost
Once is a balanced image. The sculpture is in the
centre of the picture and viewer’s eye is drawn
towards the middle of the picture and then moves upwards.
This points to the large scale of the sculpture. The form (or
shape) is reminiscent of the rectangular outline of skyscrapers.
This view shows the negative space (i.e. the space between
the matchsticks and around the sculpture) of the sculpture
well. Something which eventually catches the eye is the
small white square on the bottom left hand side of the
picture. This is distant sculpture in the Art Gallery
gardens called Mobius Sea.
|When the photo is taken from a side angle the negative
space is not as evident. The matchsticks still dominate
the picture and the background shows part of the cityscape. Centrepoint Tower appears to be at
an angle and this distracts
the viewer from focusing on the sculpture. Tucked behind
the unburned matchstick is a rectangular skyscraper.
||Taken from another angle the background includes the
tree as well as part of the Art Gallery building. While
the matchsticks still dominate the picture, the composition
has been altered with the rectangular roof of the gallery
matching the base of the sculpture. This is to indicate
that the sculpture, while outside, still belongs to the
gallery. Neither matchstick is perpendicular to the edge
of the picture. This could also distract the viewer from
focusing on the sculpture.