Thursday, May 15, 2008


I have been watching the "Great British Menu" on BBC Two and was inspired by one of the Chefs (Atul Kochhar) to consider "Balance" in photography. He was obviously referring to balance in terms of tastes, colours and textures on the dishes that he serves but I think it sums up what is so hard to with photography.

To make good photos, it's not enough to just photograph a subject with the right depth of field, sharpness and colour reproduction. You need to have a sort of Yin-Yang that ensures that what you're photographing has the right level of attention and is set out to stand out.

Backgrounds should be complementary to the subject in terms of colour and texture. Sometimes this might mean your background is blurred and the same colour as the subject or is a contrasting colour to lift the subject the page.

The textures in the picture should be balanced. Again, this can be that the texture of the subject is reflected in the background (e.g. Old rusty shopping trolley in front of massive urban decay) or harshly contrasted by it (e.g. a rough stone on a smooth wooden floor).

Composition should allow the attention to be placed firmly on the subject matter. e.g. leading lines should lead to the subject, the subject should be placed on the intersection between the line of thirds, the subject should be allowed to 'breathe' in the image and not be so intensely crowded out.

Light should be balanced with the shadows to enhance the attention and beauty of the subject.

The photo above is an example of putting the above into practice.

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