Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Balancing Shapes

Exploring with a camera is looking at balancing shapes.  Hop over to Kat Eye Studio for the full explanation.

To be honest, this is something I give zero conscious thought to when I'm shooting and I wondered if I'd find any examples at all....but of course it's something you do intuitively and although I couldn't of told you when I shot these why I arranged them in the way I did, balance of shapes certainly played a part.

Symmetry is the most obvious balance of shapes.  I don't shoot a lot of architecture but when I do, it almost always the symmetry that draws my eye to begin with. 

Of course symmetry doesn't happen that often, so we use other ways of creating visual weight, such as:

Bright colour against dark/neutral colours:

Emphasised below by an unexpected object in the composition:

I took the same image standing a bit further back to include the repeating pattern of the iron fence and I think this works too:

In the shot below, I like the simplicity of the pattern texture of the wood and painted door against the visual interest of the rusty door handle:

And finally, whilst I don't pay any conscious attention to this when I'm shooting (or haven't up to now...), my 6 year old does.  Snapping away on my iphone she produced this "look mummy, I really like the shapes..."

I'm glad someone knows what they're doing!


  1. Beautifully done Becs!
    I especially love the door.
    Have a great day!

  2. Lovely examples of balance. Architecture seems to naturally fall into category with its geometry. Like you, composing for balance is more intuitive for me than something I actively think about. I like the addition of the iron fence - I think it adds a great frame around the image. And your daughter is a natural :)

  3. I like the fence around the chair too, also love the rusty handle. It is a bit tricky trying to explain balance, isn't it?

  4. I smiled at your last comment that you're glad someone knows what they're doing!! I have to echo that one. These are great examples in my opinion. For me, the best part of this is that now I'm more aware of balance. Seeing other's examples helps, too.

  5. "Out of the mouth of babes..." That's a fun story about your daughter seeing the shapes. It can be hard to translate what we see as objects into shapes, but I guarantee when you can do it you will be seeing the world in a whole new way when you look through the lens. I like the examples you shared here! Thanks for joining Exploring with a Camera.

  6. Interesting post. I don't give symmetry thought either, but then again maybe subconsciously I do. It sounds like fun assignment...the door is my favorite. :)

  7. Great post -- you certainly seem to know what you're doing! I love the iron fence framing your doorway. Yes, your daughter is a natural.....soon she'll have a camera and will be shooting with you.

  8. Love these, Becs! You have some excellent images of ballance! I especially like the front porch ones! Love your daughter's image, too!


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