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Head On Shots

 Solo Element. Placing to the left and keeping the background and surface neutral makes the stack really pop, particularly the reds and greens. The two stalks spilling out of the bottom bun, give balance and weigh down the image. This is classic rule of thirds.

Solo Element. Placing to the left and keeping the background and surface neutral makes the stack really pop, particularly the reds and greens. The two stalks spilling out of the bottom bun, give balance and weigh down the image. This is classic rule of thirds.

Shooting Head On

This is actually a really nice way to shoot, if the subject is right and appropriate for head on shots and you line up your camera so the horizon is straight and you have a nice background or create a nice background so we don’t see the room clutter behind then this set up usually creates a winning shot every time.

When you start with this shot, think of a cityscape, if you are having one ‘tower’, use the rule of thirds, place it to the left or right and at the bottom of the frame.

Two or more ‘towers’ think of the cityscape, like New York and have all your elements ending at different heights, try to avoid having the tallest element completely in the centre, instead, place the tallest item to the left or right of the frame.

Negative space at the top and/or side lets your subject both pop and breathe.

Keep gaps irregular between elements it makes it more natural.

 Two Elements. Two can be a really awkward number to work with but notice how there are three strawberries at the top, like a mini cityscape within the image, all at different heights and with irregular gaps. It helps the eye flow up and over and down and out past the bottle. Because the bottle is glass it’s not fighting for attention from the hero which of course is the stack of pancakes.

Two Elements. Two can be a really awkward number to work with but notice how there are three strawberries at the top, like a mini cityscape within the image, all at different heights and with irregular gaps. It helps the eye flow up and over and down and out past the bottle. Because the bottle is glass it’s not fighting for attention from the hero which of course is the stack of pancakes.

 Lots of Elements. Notice the tallest towers are away from the centre and how the image is cropped on just the right hand side this helps it feel more natural. If both sides were cropped it would feel claustrophobic.

Lots of Elements. Notice the tallest towers are away from the centre and how the image is cropped on just the right hand side this helps it feel more natural. If both sides were cropped it would feel claustrophobic.

 Three Elements. The coffee pot also has the added bonus of the black top lid handle which adds another peak to the landscape and the spout at this angle frames the stack of caramel short breads. The wave of leather to the right, leads the eye in or out of the image nicely.

Three Elements. The coffee pot also has the added bonus of the black top lid handle which adds another peak to the landscape and the spout at this angle frames the stack of caramel short breads. The wave of leather to the right, leads the eye in or out of the image nicely.

Note: I generally leave a lot of negative space when shooting head on, for editorial reasons these images are generally used as an opener for a feature and they need space for text. You don’t need to leave so much room at the top when you shoot!

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