Usually placing the subject dead centre in the frame can create a static almost bland look, unless of course this suits the mood you are trying to acquire. And with symmetry it can be extremely effective.
The following photo, I took, of a blonde bee on a flower can be taken two ways. The bee is in the centre which doesn’t follow the rule of thirds though the negative space reinforces the lonely feeling of the tiny bee clinging to the stalk in the huge world of the garden. But I was interested in seeing the effect of cropping the image, and how the overall feel would change.
Originally I cropped it so the flower was on the left side but the diagonal of the flower led your eye to the left hand corner as you can see.
I choose one of Portland Bill lighthouse which I saw on a recent holiday to the South Coast. I had taken it quickly as we were driving along, leaning out of the window. It was more of a quick photo as I didn’t think I was going to get a better one as my asthma was playing up. When I got home I quite liked the image but felt it could be improved. I decided to use this for the exercise.
In the past I have found with sunset photos in particular too much of the sky and the foreground were included and usually opted to crop them into a letter box style. This is what I attempted to do with this photo.
By removing most of the distracting foreground which was blurred with motion, this gave the image a more cleaner and less distracting look. The straight line of the lighthouse and scattering of houses produces a more interesting panorama. By leaving some of the sky in this creates a contrast of the small houses, the large Portland Bill and the open sky. It conveys an almost a postcard feel.
If I were to crop the entire sky out then it would look like this. Which I feel is also a pleasing image though I think it is more effective when more of the sky is included.
Here is the cropping in process
I shall include the notes I’ve made about this exercise tomorrow.