A sense of Movement (Space To Move)

A sense of movement is an effective composition technique as it creates questions in the viewer’s mind or even unease.  The key to a strong composition is to have space ahead, which is where the apparent action is going to take place.

A sense of movement can be implied simply by the gaze of a person in a photograph.  The eye leads the viewer into space and we are left to wonder what the person is looking at.  What’s there or who is there?   This image is very simple but also very effective.

Where are they riding?  We can tell the bikers are not going that fast because their hair is not blowing.  The fast motion is implied by a technique called panning.  We see this a lot in sports photography.  We will not learn to pan in this course but simply view it here as an example of a sense of motion.  The important part of this particular image is there is space to move for the bikers and this makes for a strong composition.

I love this photo of the mountain biker.  There is a great feeling of unease, speed and even adventure.  The feelings are achieved by a sense of motion.  The motion is literal in this image and we know this because the bike is moving.  Space ahead with the trail in view helps tell the story.  Additionally, as a viewer of the photograph, my eye is led to what is coming.

With this image the colour is nice and the frame is filled.  We are not left to wonder what is happening next because the fingers are moving in the direction of the controls.  Nicely done and there is no clutter to distract us.

This is great.  Is the swimmer coming up for air or is he continuing on underwater?  The photographer cleverly gives us room to decide by including both above and underwater.  The composition is brilliant and achieved beautifully with simplicity.

A sense of movement is an effective technique for strong photo composition.  You can’t always incorporate a sense of movement, but when you can, give it a go.

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