Principles of Design: Proportion and Symmetry
So proportion we know this we know this thing just crumpled it up throw it in the trash right uh so how could we utilize something to our advantage that gives us some kind of guidance as to how to organize elements in our frame other than putting him on cross hairs? Well, something I learned about in architecture school was it's called the golden rectangle the means rectangle it comes from greek roman mythology timeframe think pantheon parthenon all those kind of buildings were designed around this concept of golden rectangle. Now the golden rectangle doesn't perfectly fit into a two by three frame which most thirty five millimeters are it's like two to three point four seven five something ridiculous like that but just let's talk about it overall on an overall kind of concept as an organizational tool right amassing tool and that's what greek and roman architects to used it for was a massive tool so they took a square they said ok at the midpoint of the square if we draw a diagonal or...
by sector and we take that by sector and then drop it down right here's the by sector laying on the ground then drop we have the most perfect rectangle on the planet the golden rectangle okay, so if this is a proportionally perfect rectangle what happens? We've got a square here we've got a rectangle there that are forming a rectangle ok not knowing that I was doing this photographically I started analyzing this knowing ok well this is beaten into my head and in architecture school fifteen years later yet still in there it's beaten in there can we use it in a photographic method we can and I am I'm not putting my subject on my crosshairs of my rule of thirds but I'm kind of organizing my photographs in this massing way as well so it's a proportional method that we can kind of think about when we're lining up things right so if the bulk of our photograph is residing in the square area then kind of the elements that set up more of the photograph kind of reside in this smaller rectangle area doesn't work proportionally I think it does because does that make sense? Everybody ok so quick quick question are you well sometime okay are you that are you putting like your subject on those particular lines or actually keeping it within those boundaries I until I started teaching this I never thought about me mentally thought about it and now I kind of still don't really mentally think about it but I do to some extent because they teach it now and I'm like oh what if I massive over this way about you know this and how what happens if my subject falls on that kind of delineating line between the square and the leftover rectangle information does that work yeah, it kind of works so I do think that way. Yes, but not all the time, you know, there's so much stuff here, so much content, so many different ways to explore a photograph. You know, the goal for me is how do I create that compelling image out there? Regardless, you know, can I take it into more of a graphic design level, then just taking that snapshot, right? So yeah, do I think about it all the time? No. Do I think about it more now? Because now I'm teaching a lot. Yes, I don't have the square in my view finder her, my lcd, they don't have that option, I can change it. I do to actually change it so that instead of having the rule of thirds, which is one of the options in a one d x, I put kind of mme or off the shape break up because we in one z x you can control what by sex your viewfinder electronically it's kind of new, so I do it so that I don't have the rule third, so that I don't kind of inadvertently follow my own rule, which is don't fall rules, right? All of a sudden all my subjects and upon crosshairs of rule of thirds, you know, just weird stuff you start thinking about so this shot right the bulk the core of its going on here what's the supporting element will the moon setting over there that still is creating this kind of proportional scenario going on in that frame and they're you know, yeah, you could argue well, that's kind of on the rule of thirds, maybe, you know, is there? Is it being set up that way to possibly, but again, I don't want to talk about I don't want to, like beat the semantics of the whole idea, you know, I'm just trying to help people further refine a craft that it's, you know, here's your you have this great vision, how you show it to other people and it makes sense to them even though they may not know it makes sense that makes sense so bulk of the ice she climbed down, I shot it left over so this is a move along that is what pretty much destroys a glacier. Write something up above uh, black rocks or whatever dirt he gets heated falls to the entire thing of the ice freeze thaw more water builds, you know, starts getting this thing bigger and bigger, the more water starts flowing through here well, then the glacier starts melting itself that water axes, lubricant and all of a sudden glacier start popping off so kind of a little bit of an environmental thing going on there when she climbed down into it I was like, oh my god this guy vehicle shot just because of the graphic nature you know circle proportion size all that kind of works for me so this was a different foggy morning in yellowstone the grand canyon yellowstone here's my son I can get the sun like this in the shop because there's so much fog right so it's that sons heating the cast the snows are the fog is cascading off the ridge lines of grand canyon of the yellowstone and that's my shot right here you may not be able to see it because of the graphic but there's a cliff there so I took this shot way, way, way long time ago before I even thought about this stuff but you start look, I start looking through things like, oh my god, I was doing it then not even knowing it, you know? And yeah there's going to be a little bit more room appearing a little bit more room down there if you're truly going to the to the ratio of the golden rectangle but for the most part you know here's our set up so if the core of the element khun reside here in my concept can it reside there a swell yes the's spires air very vertical so by them being very vertical if they occupy the verticality side of the you know golden rectangle proportion does it become the subject in my mind it does and if you can do it horizontally you can do it vertically so bulk of the helicopter using the rear stabilizer of the machine to be the by sector of the frame. Okay any questions doing good? Okay, this all makes sense good. Okay, so balance uh symmetry learning it architecture school hey, I personally hate symmetry because once you start going down the senate symmetrical road it's impossible to get out of it right? So what are we looking at this starts implying everything, applying everything good looks like crosshairs horoscope it does, but it's not okay this's a window in a church in iceland this is a photograph in the window and these air photographs in the window they have essentially taken a transparency of a photograph and put it in the window and it kind of represents stained glass. How cool is that? This is actually the fan of the window which is spinning, you know, let air you know, I just saw it took it with my iphone does it happen in nature to yeah rarely but it does happen in nature so we can find some entry just about anywhere you find it and the construction world you know are built world a lot but it does exist the nature to especially in wildflowers but most of the time we're talking about asymmetry asymmetrical balance okay so here I'm balancing my frame by what their horizon being in the middle of the frame and you know there are a lot of people that say never ever put the prism and you don't say gross generalizations like that if you can't ever back him up so the reason I put that there's a reason right I have justification there's a reason that I put that horizon down the middle because the verticality of these trees needed some kind of balance to me and I chose to balance it out by putting the horizon in the middle because of the trees have all these different shapes and forms even though they're very vertical in there kind of growth pattern there lodgepole pines so they're very you know very kind of stripped out trees but they're still his detailed to some of them so where do I where am I going to get my balance if I can't get it from the vertical trees that I'm trying to illustrate well I could plant the horrors on a line in the middle and it's now balanced but at the same point it's not seeming to make symmetrical same thing there is a balancing guiding element here you know that is the entry into the greatest candy store well one of them and some will some day I hope I get invited to the cannon factory because that would be the next you know, candy store but ok so you know that's entering the factory in the santa cruz bicycles right that's those air kind of the pearly gates when you're into santa cruz bicycles or if you're in the mountain biking not balanced from the perspective of what's on the other side of the door balanced though in a way on this side of the door still not symmetrically balanced because we've got more of the door at the bottom than we have at the top what if we balance the frame out by a textural element all these pine needles end up becoming kind of the element that gives us this cohesive foreground he becomes the subject no hander at sunset so golden light on here leads us to golden light over there there's balance to it but not symmetry in samarra would it be symmetrically balanced if I moved my composition so that thing was in the middle and on lee showed you the pieces maybe that little piece right there then it's symmetrical right? But now it's not because we've got all these different colored bins we've got the fact that the actual verticality of the line is off to the side a little bit the horizontal lines that were ill shing don't go all the way through the frame repetitive in size you know, things are changing thickness here too. So it's but it's balanced doesn't feel like anything's out of place to may okay? Questions good. Okay, focal point questions on balance do do you sell photographs that air, like balanced like that? Or is there a market for that? Because we typically try to stay away from those you know, you were really stupid like rules, rules of thirty yeah, yeah, they made you sell and a lot of those shots I've been producing articles getting inside kind of the bike industries manufacturing facilities there last issue of your magazine had a article that I did on fox factory who makes fox suspension forks and shocks, and a lot of their stuff is laid out very balanced oriented, you know, there's same repetitive elements over and over stacked ready for shipping, so yeah, they those elements they do sell, they illustrate how that industry kind of works, but I'm not for that market that's where that market exactly, which is the market I'm in right adventure sports market it's a different way of illustrating something other than just showing a mountain like you're getting monster air way don't all get monster air, but a lot of us ride bikes that had fox shocks so other ways of kind of getting into my core my my core marketing concept slash subject matter, you know, is showing people what they can't see you can't go to fox factor and say I want it to work, I can't know and I could show you that so it's a different avenue now would I put one of those shelving kind of things? I'll show you, the one I would put on my wall? We'll see it, I don't know if we'll see it here, but we will definitely see tomorrow. Yes, when you're taking some of these shots and you're thinking about an assignment that you're on say, when you frame up picture, are you thinking about there's going to be text if it's on, say, cover or had a great question? Yes, yes, all the time things like we don't put our subject dead center because that's the gutter and if it's a two page spread and they really want to use that shot as a two page spread if our subjects dead center well, they can't because it's in the gutter right of the magazines. So yeah, I think about stuff like that there's a shot that was used as a contents photo many years ago, and I specifically took the shot kind of wonky because I was like, this is going to be a contents page and sure enough, it was a contents page so yeah, I do think along those lines and I do think about if you are if you're going to shoot a vertical shot and try and get a cover, we've got to give the magazine room to do you know their logo or doesn't matter how great of a shot it is it's not going to make the cover because they can't fit it in so yeah, I do think along those that's I don't focus on it exclusively but when there are times when I say there there she is well, there are times when I'm like this is going to be in the magazine like flat out I just know it because the lights great subjects create the moment is there then I start thinking along those lines like ok, how can I make this so I truly don't screw it up you know I want this in the magazine and wanted to get published okay? So focal point our focal point really did you have a question to kind of like one of the same thing like if if if you see a shot that you think ok, this could be a content pays or it could be a a double truck or whatnot do you take multiple shots of that one particular just in case sometimes some that they come back you know, this would be great if you had done this well yes, I will do that if if something doesn't dramatically change in the scene, right, if we got a sunset like the blazing sunset perfection, and I'm my subjects getting great air, and I'm balancing out the frame and I get great foreground subjects, you know, in the frame. And if if I can shoot again fifteen different ways this sunday in the time frame before the light fades or something changes. Yes, but sometimes, you know, if you're in like dramatic weather, light, things change in that split second, where the lightest spot lit right on your subject on a trail somewhere or something like that, it could only last a millisecond, you know, so those no, you don't have the opportunity. So it's, like, get it as fast as you can in camera and hope that it works and go from there. But if I can shoot it more, so I will. I will shoot it more so.