Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Learn composition by example: the S-curve

If you have been following this blog, you may remember a series of short posts about basic composition techniques in the Art-iculations category. These were written for beginners by a beginner (moi). My Flickr friend Rick (word artist), a very accomplished photographer with a brilliant sense of composition, has embarked upon a similar series for the Flickr group Learn Composition by Example, providing far more information and examples than I did. His first seven posts, on leading lines, on layers, on borders, on framing, on triangles, on anchoring, and on negative space, were blogged earlier herehere, here, herehere, here and here. His eighth post appeared last weekend, tackling the subject of the S-curve as a compositional technique, with 19 photographs as illustration of his points (also to be found in his blog), ranging as usual from the most basic to the advanced very subtle uses. For this topic I have picked a shot by my Flickr friend andy57 (A dancer's pose), which Rick commented on as follows: "Another example of how the malleability of the human form can create strong S-curves, this image would be very appealing with only the diagonal of leg through torso. But the addition of the crooked leg adds a second dimension, allowing us to explore the width as well. Indeed, so strong is it that the straight leg is relegated to an leading line anchor and the dynamic of the image is that strong, sharp S-form." Like the others in this series, highly recommended to expand your compositional horizon.

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