Dominance and Proportions…


Dominance usually means that some aspect of composition influences the entire composition more strongly than all the other aspects. The dominant part of a photograph is often called the centre of interest or major motif. But, be careful, it’s not what I call the Subject Matter. Subject Matter comes from all the elements that build your image. It is, or should be, a resulting effect of combination of all the components in your image. But a component in the frame may be dominant because of its size, color, location, symbolic value, or any combination of these and other factors. For whatever reason, it acts as a point of visual emphasis or rest, giving a sense of order and stability to the composition.

Proportion has to do with the relative size of objects in the picture space. it is closely related to balance, as the amount of space allocated to a major object or area, in relation to that allocated to a minor one, can determine wether pictorial balance is satisfactory. Proportion has an enormous capacity to influence our understanding and to generate feelings about both an entire composition and its component parts.

This image is a simple, orderly composition. The castle dominates or acts as a center of interest because its shape is far more complex than the others elements, its size is much more important than the other components and its proportion is on rank 1. Its main dimension spreads in width, that is the reason why I ‘ve chosen this panoramic framing for this image, emphasizing its majesty. Horizontal symmetry of this building participates in stability. To convey these different impressions, I decided to position my camera just in front of the castle with no disturbing elements in between. Since the total amount of space in your viewfinder remains constant, by enlarging or reducing the size of one object or area in a composition, you necessarily reduce or  increase the size of another ! You change its proportion. Such a change can be enormously expressive, altering the information, idea or feeling a picture conveys.

Workshop : Learning To See

Difficulty : Intermediate – Advanced

Cost per participant : 400 €  ( Lodging and Meals included ).

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