Balance

you scan the scene. Look at all four corners. Are there any distractions towards the edges of the frame? Do you like the way you have placed the subject? Is it 'balanced'?

When my concentration is heightened and I am 'in the zone', I am able to imagine that the image in the viewfinder is projected onto a screen in a darkened room. Do I like what I see? If the answer is yes, I press the shutter. I may take six or more shots, depending on the subject, before I make a point of reviewing the LCD on my housing.

I then ask myself,'how can I improve on what I have taken?'

fig. 7.22 Compare this with Fig. 7.23. fig. 7.23 Taken within seconds of each other, these are almost identical. Almost! But don't you get the feeling that in this figure the naudibranch is about to slide sideward, towards the bottom left of the frame? To me it's unbalanced and would always be a reject. 60 mm macro, f22 at 1/320th, two Inon Z220s, ISO 200.

fig. 7.24 I've composed just enough base to give this blue ribbon eel some context. Too much base will be interpreted as 'wasted space or dead space'. Nikon D300, f16 at 1/250th sec, ISO 200, two Inon flashguns placed each side of my macro port to illuminate both sides of the eel as it moves around whilst I'm shooting it. My viewfinder focus point was set to top left of the frame. This image was the precise composition I was trying to achieve. This doesn't mean it's a great picture but it means that I achieved exactly what I was after.

fig. 7.24 I've composed just enough base to give this blue ribbon eel some context. Too much base will be interpreted as 'wasted space or dead space'. Nikon D300, f16 at 1/250th sec, ISO 200, two Inon flashguns placed each side of my macro port to illuminate both sides of the eel as it moves around whilst I'm shooting it. My viewfinder focus point was set to top left of the frame. This image was the precise composition I was trying to achieve. This doesn't mean it's a great picture but it means that I achieved exactly what I was after.

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