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The Enthusiast's Guide to Composition by Khara Plicanic

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12. COMPOSE RESPONSIVELY

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WE’VE TALKED ABOUT the rule of thirds and other compositional guidelines, but how do you know in which third of the frame to place your subject? Should the negative space be to the subject’s left or right? Or maybe above or below? While there are no “wrong” answers, there is a general collective agreement about what tends to work well—and what doesn’t.

Let’s start by taking a look at what doesn’t work. Figure 12.1 is awkward, wouldn’t you agree? Despite featuring the world’s cutest kid, it’s somewhat uncomfortable to look at and doesn’t “feel” quite right. The question is, why?

The composition follows the rule of thirds, ...

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