Composition: subject in center ? - Dreamstime

Every beginner in photography does one mistake which professionals don't like i.e. keeping subject in the center of the frame. He must have been bombarded of advice for not doing that mistake again by senior colleagues.

Centered place in the frame is considered having less visual attention of the viewer. A subject in center divides the frame equally & may confuse the viewers eyes where to look at? This offers a less visual weight to the subject.As soon as subject is moved from the center of the image starts to get a dynamic feel from a static. The golden point according to very famous rule of composition which is Rule of thirds.

In this image I have placed the egg in center of the frame but is it really not visually interesting? The answer is yours since it is going to be subjective. I think dividing the entire frame using shapes of circles helps the viewers eyes to recognize the subject with an ease (Ref: Gestalt psychology). So composing the egg in the centered portion doesn't matter to much, in fact it is catching the viewers attention without loosing interest. If the subject was only egg then there will be enough space to divert viewers eye in entire frame resulting in poor composition.

A centered subject can also be made interesting by using virtual lines leading to the subject. It will avoid the viewers eye to wondering everywhere unnecessarily while guiding it to the subject of interest.

Your feedback will surely help. Kindly correct me if you find anything wrong with the discussion.

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March 19, 2011


Thanks for your response & appreciation!
Yes it's subjective & the taste of viewers really matters. What I am more interested in sharing is that grouping of the subject may ease the readability of the image to the viewer.
@Lcro77 I agree it's not a mistake but professionals critique the beginners centered composition like that only :)

March 16, 2011


It depends of subject and photographer.

March 15, 2011


Many famous photographers have centered their subjects. It was refreshing to read a post that suggests that this is acceptable. I belong to 2 photo clubs where the rule of thirds is quoted ad nauseam. I am also a painter and have taught students that the Rule of Thirds is a safe way to balance a composition, but if you want to take risks, ditch it!

March 15, 2011


"Every beginner in photography does one mistake which professionals don't like..."

This is not a mistake depends of the subject....and if professionals don;t like that is only their opinion. The photography art and technique is very subjective. If u fallow a basic rule of composition and combination of colored the subject can be in center without a problem.

Everyone is free to express yourself in photography.

March 14, 2011


Nice shot.I believe there are exceptions to every rule,nothing is set in stone, and nothing can always be 100%

March 12, 2011


You're absolutely right, the subject can be placed at the center when a composition is symmetrical, it is balanced with respect to lines, shapes and colors; soon (maybe) I have accepted a picture with an iguana up in the middle between two stone pillars, bye !

March 11, 2011


Thanks for sharing great image!

March 11, 2011


Thanks for sharing...

March 11, 2011


Thanks a lot to all of you for appreciating the image & note. It definitely helps.

March 11, 2011


Great picture! You are right about the rules! Thank you for reminding them!

March 11, 2011


Agree that rules are there to be broken but it is true that often a centered composition is less striking. With your egg shot you have also included elements of symmetry which also can give great appeal to a picture. Something the human mind likes and also adds to your shot.

March 11, 2011


Nice image! Photography 'rules' are made for breaking :o)

March 11, 2011


Like the shot. Well done

March 11, 2011


I also like the composition. Well done.

March 11, 2011


nice compostion ,thanks for share

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