shape your negative or paper is, there is no law that says you must force
your photo to fit what you have.
You may make a long, thin picture or a
square picture, or anything in between, if the scene calls for it.
Admittedly, the shapes you are given by the manufacturers are the most
popular, but they aren't engraved in stone. Paper is easily cut. One of
the easiest ways to control format is to turn the camera from horizontal to
vertical. This is a simple but distressingly underused advantage of cameras
that take rectangular pictures. If your subject is taller than it is wide,
it probably would be better suited to a vertical format.
photographers stubbornly hold the camera horizontally and back away until
the long subject will fit into the short side of the picture frame. It is
so much easier to just turn the camera on its side and fire away.
Choose a format which fits your subject
f. Lines. Lines are one of the strongest compositional tools available
to the photographer (or for that matter, any visual artist).
(1) Few things serve better than lines to direct the viewer's
attention to a specific spot in a scene.
Lines that do this are called
leading lines, and they can be explicit or implied. Explicit leading lines
are those you can actually trace out with your finger in the picture. Fence
lines, pathways, roads, and railroad tracks, are all examples of explicit
leading lines. The most common example of an implied line is the direction
of a person's gaze. If a person in a photograph is seen to be looking at
something else also in the picture, the viewer's eyes are almost compelled
to look at the object too. No actual line can be seen, but the idea of a
direction of gaze is extremely powerful.
This becomes a problem if lines
become contradictory. If two or more people are shown in a photo and they
are each looking at something different, then the viewer's attention is torn
between the different subjects, usually to bad effect.