Gaze

raphaella gaze posed centre camera Simon Q. Walden, FilmPhotoAcademy.com, sqw, FilmPhoto, photography

THINKING:

The general rule of thumb is that the gaze of your sitter should look INTO the frame of the image. Otherwise, the eye tends to be drawn out of the picture.

So when choosing your crop, whether in camera or afterwards you tend to have more picture space where the models eyes are looking.

This image is contradictory. Raphaella's gaze is out of frame and away from her body.

SEEING:

Compositionally then this image is weakened by the line of gaze. More than that, the whole flow of the body line is in the same direction. So the viewer's eye is almost being forced out of the left hand side of the image.

However, it does raise the question in the viewer's mind - what is Raphaella actually looking at?

Notice that I am not breaking a lot of the other compositional rules though. Raphaella's face is on the rule of thirds and the face is directly against the light background of the French windows - creating a strong area of contrast.

DOING:

In terms of the set, it made most sense to put the chaise exactly symmetrical within the door frame and ensure the camera position is also central.

Being slightly off centre with any of those components would lead to an awkward or irritating composition and also introduce uneven distortions with wider angle lenses.

However, the way the key subject - Raphaella - is posed within that becomes all the more important. She could be posed dead central as well - using the supporting symmetry. Alternatively, she can be posed significantly off-centre to ensure she stands out against the symmetry.

However you structure it, remember it must look deliberate, just being a little off centre in setup, camera position or pose would look weak and distracting.

 
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raphaella gaze posed centre camera Simon Q. Walden, FilmPhotoAcademy.com, sqw, FilmPhoto, photography

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