Wedding Photography through to Architectural photography can utilise these simple rules as these can enhance your photograph and draw the viewer into the photograph.
The shades of dark and light, lines, and the complexity of the background I foreground elements can make or break an image. Colour can add depth. It also can detract from the subject. Black and white can flatten depth, but can enhance the subject, making it easier for you to focus on the emotional elements of the subject story. I believe each image should be viewed for these concepts of depth in post-processing before committing to black and white. To make things more complicated, colour can enhance the subject and converting to black and white may totally lose your subject in a sea of pattern and light. Perception during post processing is also very important and can be learned with practice.
Lines are amazing pointers. They add depth to an image. I always try to look for lines whilst taking my wedding photographs especially when I’m with the wedding couple on their wedding day.
They will help your eye follow through to your subject and add interest when looking at a print. Well, of course, you can fill the frame with just your subject, but wouldn’t it be so very boring if all your shots did this? The wedding day is your canvas to paint; why not use all those brushes, paints and tools you spent good money on, to create your own stylised form of art? Here is a fun way of finding lines: fill the frame with your subject, now step back or zoom out and search for lines through the viewfinder that lead in to the subject. Look all around including the ground. This helps narrow the field of view, yet helps isolate a line or two that can aid your composition. .
If you are lucky enough to find a ton of converging lines, change your angle or put the subject in the centre of all those converging lines, then shift your viewfinder to bring the subject into the centre. Now all the lines point to the centre of the composition and to your subject, for a dramatic image. I find it fun to look for this, but hard to make it all happen successfully: which is exactly why I try! If the lines will not come to you, go to them, I only use prime lenses which always requires me to move when photographing a wedding, ( Zoom lenses tend to make the photographer lazy and can also mean that the wedding photographer remains planted in one place) – use them to search out your subject with your viewfinder.
It is often good to see your wedding world with 16mm and 200mm eyes. I find it better to start each wedding location within the wedding day seeing in 16mm (the whole story and field of view). Then narrow your imagery down to 200mm to isolate subjects and pull in emotion. The range of millimetres between is fine, yet I find going a little more extreme with my focal lengths can create very dynamic imagery.
You have to focus on a smaller area within that field of view, and then concentrate on that smaller area or subject. There is no way to really take it all in at once and understand all you see. Photographic composition is the arrangement of visual elements within a frame. It is the product of a photographer’s vision and skill in seeing, identifying, arranging, and framing the finished image. What we “see” is often visually chaotic. Our jobs as pros are to harness this chaos and create those incredible memories during the wedding; the client books us as their professional wedding photographer.