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Technology November 2014

Fritz on Photography

The Closed Image

By Fritz Penning

When composing an image a dramatic way to impart, impact and interest is to take advantage of the closed image.

When composing an image a dramatic way to impart, impact and interest is to take advantage of the closed image. The reasoning behind this selection is to take advantage of what we do naturally and that is to read from left to right. As we view an illustration, because of habit and training, our eyes move from left to right naturally reading any script or examining any object we come across. The same applies to “reading” a photograph. To keep the eye from wandering, a brighter left edge leads us into the image, darker upper and lower edges restrain the eye and a dark right end bounces the eye back into the frame ready to repeat the process of scanning within bounds. A schematic shows the progress of entering from the brighter left edge and staying within the bounds of the frame having dark edges along the top and bottom, and a dark end at the right.

By flipping the image and making the right side the bright side, the composition is reversed and the feel of the image is different although all elements are the same. Some may say it’s harder to get into the picture and stay there.

Real-life examples are shown in which the closed image is demonstrated by looking for and using naturally occurring dark boundaries. Obviously not all photo opportunities offer closed boundaries, however when they do, their use is very effective.

On a similar note, using an object as a framing device on the right edge of the photo can improve the presentation. As illustrated a tree at the right boundary provides an effective frame if the image stops at the tree. Leaving an open space detracts from what is shown in the central parts of the photo. Again not all photos can or should use this as a scheme for improving a presentation but when it’s available and natural a bonding edge enhances the photo, if it’s on the right side.

 

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