Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Day four challenge: Dirtying up the frame, part of 5-Day Photo Challenge: Composition.
- Welcome to day four of the five-day photo challenge. Today we're going to do another compositional exercise. This one may be a little bit different than what your normal instincts are. Very often when we speak of good composition we use words like clean, meaning there's nothing extra in the frame. And for most people that means there's the subject and there's a background. Right now you're looking at a frame where there's me, the subject, and there is a background. But there's also stuff in the foreground. This is a composition that's dirty.
The front of it's been dirtied up with extra stuff. But it's not a bad composition. That stuff in the foreground still serves a purpose. It is still serving to frame and guide the viewer's eye, and so on and so forth. So, for today's challenge, I want you to go out and dirty up your frame. I want you to practice composition where you have elements in the front of your subject that you are using compositionally. Doesn't just mean we'll stick something in the front of the frame and take a picture. It needs to serve a purpose. And by purpose I mean a compositional purpose.
So it needs to be serving a role as something that balances or frames or guides the viewer's eye, like a leading line. All these things that you've been practicing, this is just a different way of doing the same thing. Depth of field is going to be critical because you may not want to take in front in sharp focus because you don't want the viewer's eye caught by it, you want it to pass on by. So blurring it out is going to be important. Because depth of field is going to be important, focal length might matter also. So you're really going to need to experiment. And beyond that, all I can say is this is a very different way of composing things.
If you're not used to shooting this way, it may take you a while, so give yourself some time.
Make sure to share your results with Ben and other fellow photographers on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using the hashtag #5DayPhoto.