One of the most widespread mistakes photographers make is including too much space in the image frame. Amateur and Professional photographers alike make this mistake.
When too much empty space included, the viewer is left to decide where to look. And, the viewer might decide to look elsewhere. We don’t want that, do we?
Let’s have a look at a few examples so you can understand a bit better what I’m saying.
This photo could be very nice but there are two problems. First, my eye goes directly to the blue sky instead of the man jumping high above the hill. Big mistake on the part of the photographer who captured this. The eye goes to the wrong place. Additionally, the perspective is entirely wrong. For this image to be stronger, the photographer should have zoomed in or moved closer to the jumping man. It could help also if the photographer had gotten lower to give a sense of how high the jumper is jumping.
There is one other slight problem, which as a professional I see right away and that is – there are spots or smudges that are visible. If ever you plan to show your photos to other people be sure there are no spots visible on your image.
Nice silhouette, but this image is sort of boring. There is too much space and little feeling when looking at this image. Again, moving closer or zooming in could have made this photo powerful. This is a missed opportunity.
Lastly, this photo is a wee bit dark and I have to ask – Am I supposed to be looking at the mountains, the foreground or the lady walking directly in the middle? Two rules are broken here. The person in the middle – which is a no-no and far too much space around her. The result is an uninteresting photo.
Filling the frame is an effective technique for strong photo composition. When you fill the frame and leave little empty space, what you are doing is creating a definite focal point. When a viewer looks at your image their eye goes directly to where you want the eye to go.
There are three elements in this photo that make it beautiful. First, the frame is filled with the men’s legs. They are sort of skinny legs but they do fill the frame and this is a good thing. The second element is the dust floating and reflecting in the air. This helps tell a story of sorts or at least makes you wonder what else is happening. There is some sort of mystery and that is a good thing. Finally, the ray of golden light is stunning. Overall, this is a brilliant example of strong composition.
Where does your eye go first in this image? The tattooed hands and the rings on the hands. This is remarkable, isn’t it? The frame is filled effectively and the implied lines just by the way the hands are positioned lead the eye directly where the photographer wants you to look. This is great.
While a bit dark there is enough light in the background and on the man’s back to make this image quite beautiful. What’s more is the frame is filled and the clever use of light leads your eye directly to the man’s back. Obviously, the photographer wants us to look there. I can’t imagine how long it took for the tattoo to be created but it is a beautiful piece of work and the photographer wants us to look right there. Simply stunning this photo is.
Filling the frame of your photograph is easy to do. Simply move closer to your subject or zoom in with your camera lens. My best advice is always to move around. By moving around, you explore various angles and perspectives. You’re sure to capture the best image possible by not being stationary.