I wrote on my last blog post on Insidious Tomatoes about the use of triangles in composition.
You know those annoying tests you see on Facebook? Let’s see if you can count the triangles in this image:
Now I admit that I didn’t pose this – these are dancers after all. I just think it is interesting how triangular composition is such a natural part of art – performance or visual.
This image, though, does highlight a lot of what I do. The dancers brought gesture. I brought light (photo graphos, remember) and composition. I want to hold your hand and guide you through the image visually. Here, let me show you. It is what a photographer should do, in my opinion, and what separates a photograph from a snapshot. The skill is in that hand holding.
It begins with my highlighting of Kaila, which accomplishes several compositional tasks.
For one thing, she is in the lower 1/3 (rule-of-thirds) of the image. The others are against a sky by definition lighter than that portion of the image. Therefore, she needs the light to keep from getting lost. She also forms the point of an inverted triangle, and I am following the natural progression of focusing attention here. At least temporarily.
Your eye goes there first. Had the lighting been even, you would dead-center on them and not need to go further. You would quickly move on. No more to see here!
Since the lighting isn’t flat, however, rather than staying on Kaila, you move on visually within the image. There is more to see!
You notice that Wilfred and Gabriel are striking strong poses, so your eye goes there next. Rather than the supporting cast, however, they give the oomph factor to the image: the subtlety that hits you over the head with its strength when you finally get there.
While Kaila and Gabriel provide the beauty, Wilfred provides the punch. In this role, he is a point of a triangle established by the 2 girls. Want more subtlety? Note that they are in profile while he is not. The point is sharpened! Want even more? Ok! As a final visual treat, I left the crane in the background to mimic his gesture.
To finish things up, in post I brought more of a late afternoon feel, and further played the light off of this. I don’t do everything in camera, you know.
The dancers brought their “A” game. Together we made visual art. With the help of the triangle. And the light.