For years I have been lugging around expensive equipment. my SLR dangles from my neck, camera bag hangs on my left shoulder, filled with a couple of filters, an extra lens or two, an external flash, and probably a tripod — all things I want to have with me. As a traveler, I have become accustomed to carrying the essentials to get the shot I want. However, I have recently noticed how unconscious I can become when actually framing my shots. On a recent outing, I had good light and great subjects, but had forgotten to consider framing. Every shot was perfectly centered! For the most part this is fine. However, sometimes I want to create a dissonance with my subject and bring a little more intrigue to my photos, something that lacks symmetry and makes the viewer take a closer look.
In practical application, this means I may take three nearly identical shots of my subject. One portrait, one landscape, and one off-center (note that I did not say dutch angle, I’ll save this topic for a later article). It is usually not my intention to chop my subject, but to add background, color, and disorder to the overall shot. They tend to be my favorites.
And if I still want it centered, then I can always crop it in post.
Written by Devin Galaudet