Balance in Photography

Photographic balance is one of many compositional techniques available. When a picture is balanced, it means the left and the right halves of the photograph draw the eye equally.

To use balance in a photograph you have to harness and understand the best balance properties of the location.

If you have too many elements on left side of the frame the compositional weight of the photograph will tilt to the left, leaving the right side desolated and empty.

On location you may encounter too many objects around you. These objects come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Finding out how to achieve balance can be tricky. To make it easy let’s break it down into three important components.

  • Balancing with people (any person or people in your frame)
  • Balancing with space (everything else: negative space, open area landscape etc.
  • Balancing with objects (any dominant tangible object in your frame)

To better understand the concept take a look at some examples of compositional balance in photography.

Balancing with objects.

A balanced photograph often allows the viewer’s eye to be drawn throughout the image equally, without resting too heavily on one certain aspect of the image. Photographs that are improperly balanced are often less appealing to look at, especially if the ‘heavier’ part of the image lies too far left or right.

Balancing with people.

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