Week 21 – Extreme Subject Placement

The 21st Challenge in my 52 Week Landscape Composition Photo Challenge is Extreme Subject Placement. When talking about subject placement when it comes to Photography or art in general, the rule of thumb is to never center the subject or place them in extreme positions. The default composition technique or the one that is used most often is what’s called the Rule of Thirds. That was one of the first challenges in my 52 Week Landscape Composition Photo Challenge.

Anyone looking at my portfolio will easily see that the Rule of Thirds is a comp technique that I use quite often. No matter how often it is used, I feel that it is still a very effective comp technique. Something that I will definitely continue to use no matter how many techniques I learn. Another of the placements was to put the subject dead-center. This to me was relatively easy and lot of scenes naturally lend itself to centering the subject.

This week’s challenge was a bit more difficult. Unless the scene calls for it, how do you put the main subject of the photo in an ‘extreme’ location within the frame. I didn’t want to place my subject in a particular location within the frame just for the sake of this challenge. To me, that would defeat the purpose of my challenge. The goal is to learn different composition techniques so I know what comp to use when.

As I was looking through my shots, I found one from my trip to Walton Lighthouse that I didn’t flag for processing before. The photo looked good so I wondered why I didn’t flag it the first go-around. I realized that on both sides of the frame, there were distracting elements, which would prove to be a challenge to remove in PhotoShop. I liked the colors in the photo; so, I decided to give it a shot.

I processed the photo using my usual LR & PS Workshop and loved the colors but the sides were still distracting. The only way to make this photo was to crop the photo to remove the distracting elements. When I was doing my crop, I realized that I’ll have to put the Lighthouse in the extreme right for the crop to work. This also pushed the light source to the far left.

The moment I placed both subjects – the lighthouse and the light source in the two corners, the comp seemed to work. At least, I liked it a lot. Once the crop was done, I also realized that this satisfies the challenge for week 21, which is extreme subject placement. I know one of the challenge is to crop a photo to achieve a desirable composition and I think this would also satisfy that challenge. Well, I am sure I’ll have other photos that I’ll have to crop to achieve desired outcome.

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