Case Study - Positioning the Subject
in central Japan, about four hours northwest of Tokyo. Hidden deep in a place the name of which jego Cordani means Hell's Valley amid steep cliffs and steaming rivers. And at an altitude of 850 meters, there is a special place where a unique band of wild macaques have discovered an irresistible rest flight from the biting, cold, inviting hot springs. I love photographing these cheeky little monkeys. Their facial expressions make them ideal portrait subjects in the unusual location lends itself to more intriguing stories. How these stories unfold depends entirely on where you position the subject. In this first image, I've positioned the macaque using the rule of thirds. This opens the space to the left of the main subject, where we discover hiding under the rocks and sheltering from the snow a second macaque. So in this example, the off centre composition reveals this subplot by taking you from point A to point B. Moving to the second image. This is Mork classic portrait shot. The stor...
y doesn't go beyond the individual. Instead, we connect with him second guessing his thoughts and feelings by placing the subject centrally in the frame. I've drawn your eye to the most important aspect, which is the macaques face and eyes, and I keep you there. Your gaze remains fixed on him, so very simply, just by switching between centre and off center positioning, you can completely change the visual narrative. But this is a very simplified way of thinking about composition, to take your photographs even higher levels as another technique I want to show you. And to do that, I'm going to go to one of my favorite landscape locations.