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Video:Photography Composition: Positioning

with Chris Davis

Positioning the camera or subject will change your photography composition. Watch this About.com video for tips on positioning in photography composition.See Transcript

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Transcript:Photography Composition: Positioning

Hi I'm Chris Davis for About.com.  Positioning as an element of composition will give your photography a whole new perspective. Here are a few ideas to consider to incorporate positioning.

What Is Positioning in Photography Composition?

You must first understand that photographic composition is defined as the pleasing arrangement of a subject within a picture. With this in mind, take the time to arrange your image to your liking. This can be done in two ways:  position your subject in the fashion you want, or position the camera in a particular place or angle. Positioning your subject is straight forward.  You can pose people how you like or place objects and elements to be photographed where you want.  As the photographer, this freedom of positioning your subject matter allows you to compose and stage your image while keeping a creative element to your imagery.

Positioning at Eye Level for Photography Composition

Although a more interesting approach would be to change your camera position.  This will truly give you the freedom to look at your subject from a unique angle.  A picture may be improved by taking a few steps forward or back, to one side or the other, or by moving up or down. As people start out in photography, they tend to shoot from eye level. It's only natural. You bring the camera to your eye and you take a picture. Depending on your subject matter, this is completely acceptable.  Eye level positioning allows you to connect the viewer to the subject.  However, you need to be aware of who or what your subject is. Photographing children and pets requires you to get down to there eye level to truly shoot eye level shots.

Positioning at a Low Angle for Photography Composition

Positioning the camera at a lower angle, below your subject, places the viewer in a position of inferiority. You can control the emotion or feel in your photo with this simple camera move. Also, depending on the subject matter, a lower camera angle can give the subject a unique or enhanced feeling of height or size. The opposite effect occurs by positioning your camera above your subject. The viewer will feel superior or larger than the subject.

Tips for Positioning in Photography Composition

Remember you can position the camera just about anywhere.   Place the camera in a unique or unexpected position to give your viewer a different look at an everyday object.  By trying something a little different you your photograph will become more interesting and have more impact. If your subject is moving, position the camera to allow for lead space or room for your subject to move into. This will give the sensation that your subject is entering the photograph not leaving it, which is generally more pleasing.

Positioning can be a lot of fun. Don't be afraid to move either you or your camera. To learn more, check us out on the web at About.com. Thanks for watching.

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