P52:12 | Centered Composition

This week has been crazy! I took the kids to my parents’ house to spend the week while I went to a home school convention with a friend for 3 days. After 2 1/2 hours to their house, 2 1/2 back to mine, up at 6 every morning for the 45 minute drive to the convention, 12 hours of seminars & curriculum browsing, then 45 minutes back to my house, then the trip back to my parents’ for a couple of days to retrieve my kids, I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. My mind was spinning with curriculum choices, my body ached from so much time riding in cars & standing on concrete, & I had just about given up on the idea of cramming in a photography project for the week, but found I couldn’t stand to skip a week without at least trying to shoot something.

The prompt for this week was Centered Composition. I realized while looking through my Lightroom catalog that I don’t shoot centered compositions very often at all. I almost always follow the “Rule” of thirds, placing the subject off center in the frame. {I say “Rule” of thirds because a lot of photography rules are a lot like the Pirate Code – more like guidelines, really.} Since centered composition can be used to emphasize form, among other things, I finally settled on photographing this shell. It was handy, it sits still, & it doesn’t whine. It’s a lightning whelk from Captiva Island, our yearly getaway to the beach. I love the pattern & colors & thought a centered composition might help emphasize them.

Because I was shooting so close to the shell, I stopped down to f7.1 to try to keep the whole end of the shell in focus. Obviously, that didn’t quite work, but I was losing light fast, so I went with what I had.

Macro Whelk

There were some amazing shots in our group this week, & they really made me rethink centered composition. I will definitely be looking out for opportunities to use centering for a stronger image in the future. In fact, last night we spent the evening outside, soaking in the beautiful spring weather (& good thing too, by this morning it was cold and raining), & I took my camera with me. Our inside/outside cat was pretty excited to have us outside to play with him, & I snapped this shot of him. I love how the centered composition emphasizes his eyes and the symmetry of his face.

Bandit the green-eyed kitty

Next in this week’s blog circle is Nancy. Check our her interpretation of Centered Composition. 

{Settings for shell image: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70 2.8L , ISO 1600 | f7.1 | 1/60 Camera was sitting on the table to reduce camera shake at such a low shutter Even at 1/125, I have a little blur from camera shake in the cat image because I was trying to snap the picture before he moved, & didn’t have time to brace my arms.}

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  1. What a gorgeous cat and you’ve captured him wonderfully. He reminds me a little bit of ours, perhaps part Maine Coon?

    1. Thank you, Nancy! He is a neighborhood mutt – one of a litter from a stray cat – but I am pretty sure he is part Maine Coon. Our other cat is half Maine Coon, & he resembles her a lot.

  2. I think the depth of field in the shell photo is interesting. What beautiful green eyes your cat has! I was at a homeschool conference last weekend too! VaHomeschoolers 🙂

    1. Thank you Michele! This was my first HS conference – it was overwhelming! So much information & so exhausting, but I’m really glad I went. I’ve been struggling a little lately, & I felt like the conference really gave me the boost I needed.

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