Exploring balance in photos

Today I am Exploring With A Camera and focusing on balancing shapes in images.  I have found that this is something that is done on auto pilot, I really have not given it a lot of thought. Kat’s instructions and insight have made me more aware of it now. I encourage you to click on the link in the  first sentence here, read her article and view the examples shared by her and others.  

I looked at photos I took last weekend at outside an antique store in Delphos, Ohio, and found examples of balance.

This is an example of balancing something unique against a background of ‘sameness’… in this case the sameness is the old wood door panels, and the unique would be the bucket, mailbox and even the door latch.

This barrel, with its rust and peeling paint, is balance of bright color versus subtle color.  

An old wagon wheel, showing high contrast between the rusted metal and the faded wood, but also showing lower contrast in the background (on the left) between the subtle shades of blue gray paint and wood.

My initial thought on this broken door latch is that the balance is between the metal and the wood, different materials in the photo. But could it not also be a balance between a complex structure (latch) and the simple wood?
And here is the old storefront where all these images were taken. What I see here is a balance between the complex and “busy” store itself, and the smooth sameness of the brick street in the foreground.
I invite your comments and feedback! Do you see a kind of balance in these that I have missed?  
If you enjoy photography and want to learn more, click on this link button below. Kat Sloma is a great teacher, and excellent photographer.  Exploring With a Camera is a fun, two week ‘assignment’ that you can participate in even if you don’t want to share images online. She also has excellent online courses that you will want to check out.

11 Replies to “Exploring balance in photos”

  1. Hello Deborah, I just love the way you have balanced the shapes within the frames. My favourites are the barrel with its shape and rusting metal – the mixture of vertical and horizontal lines and the rich colours and textures. I also love the off-centre wagon wheel and all the different shapes: the vertical lines in the back, the round shapes in the middle and the spokes coming out from the centre like sunrays. Lovely soft colours contrasting with the brown rust colour.
    A lovely series and very eye-catching.
    Have a lovely weekend!

  2. I really love the barrel with its soft tones and the division into three. Also the top photo is really nice. I like the way my eye moves from panel to panel resting on the different details of the bucket and the mailbox.

  3. Deb – wonderful exploration of balance. You certainly picked the right spot to explore – so much intersting texture,rusty goodness and incredible shapes.

  4. I love the images in this post!! Every single one of them!!!! You did such a fantastic job of recognizing balance! This looks like such a fun and unique place. I had fun trying to peak in the windows and see what was for sale! There's Mr. and Mrs. Santa!!

  5. These are wonderful examples, Deb! I really love the circular wagon wheel with its lines and textures, and the old door latch. What a fun place to explore with a camera. Well done!

  6. What a fantastic place to photograph! I love all of the scenes you found. My favorite is the wagon wheel. Not only do you have the curve/line contrast, but there is a great contrast of the light vs. dark. Notice how on the right, you have the spokes illuminated against a fully shadowed fence, while on the left there is less contrast between the spokes and fence. By placing the hub off center, toward the area of more contrast on the right, you have balanced it beautifully with the lower contrast region on the left. LOVE this one! Thanks for sharing this with us in Exploring with a Camera.

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