Exercise: Positioning a Point
Take three photographs in which there is a single point placed in a different part of the frame in each example; justify your reasons in a short note under the photograph.
This basketball hoop attracts the eye immediately you view the picture and the rest of the court is displayed as the adjunct to the right.
Although the larger part of the balance in this shot is over the middle point, it is dominated by the smaller part of the balance, the hoop.
In this shot, the same basketball hoop is now centred.
Although the point in this picture appears centred, which would conventionally make the image static, there is a slight trick played here, inasmuch as the point is centred in one dimension only and is therefore not truly centred. This, along with the fact that the court in front of the hoop drags the eye toward the hoop, stops the picture from actually being static.
With my third photograph of this series I decided that I’d use a ball, and to make the point even more obvious I’d use a pink ball, and even more obvious a funny face on the ball.
This shot was just right in this position, even though I took eight altogether, with it on just grass and with more objects in the background. The eye is immediately taken to the bright colour and the face makes the eye linger longer before moving off to scan the footpath.
The main thing that has struck me in this exercise is that when the point appears largest or most colourful in the picture, it takes the attention more, as in picture 1 of the basketball hoop and picture 3 of the ball. It’s also shown me that you can play tricks with the positioning and fool the eye somewhat with centralising and actually not quite doing it.