Dead Center Aim

The most common photography rule for composition is not to center the image’s main focus. Put it more to one side or the other. (Think U.S. politics, go left or right.) The center rule is a great one until it isn’t (very Zen like, this sentence. I was centered at the time I wrote it. Since, I’ve been left of center).

In this picture above, the main focus is the tree’s dark branch surrounded by bird’s nests. Notice it’s almost dead center in the shot. The reason this works is because the main subject (tree) has a pattern created by the vertical branches and instead of relying upon off-centering the shot, I instead looked for the element that stood out in the pattern. In this case it’s the dark branch surrounded by lighter branches. (If this were a PowerPoint presentation, I would have the red laser on that branch for you to see this better. Sometimes, without PowerPoint presentations, pictures take thousands of words to explain.)

The photo also works for me because the trees sit in water, not ground. This image is about what you don’t expect to see: A dark branch, surrounded by lighter branches, surrounded by bird’s nests, in the water and dead center. Then again, perhaps were you live this is as normal a shot as seeing pigs fly.

The shot at Lake Pueblo. And for those who like their visual composition a bit less centered:

Right of Center

Which do you like better,  photo grasshopper?