I struggled to find an outdoor subject for this exercise during daylight so I made a simple set in the studio to produce these photographs.
Objective: To produce a series of images of a single object in different positions against a large even background and compare them to determine which works best.
Lighting: Manual studio flash (large softbox to left of the image, two wide angle slave units to light the background and a white reflector to the right).
Camera settings: Manual, 1/125s, f13, ISO 200, 35mm standard lens. The camera was tripod mounted and I chose a fixed focal length lens for ease. I moved the camera for each shot, rather than the apple so that it always appeared the same size in the frame.
1. This is the position I chose instintively, vertically central and horizonally to the left of centre on the intersecting thirds.
2. Centred, vertically and horizontally in the frame.
3. Centred vertically, to the right horizontally.
4. Bottom left corner.
5.Bottom right corner.
From my reading, I learned that the direction of the light can have an influence on the perception of the direction in which an object 'faces' and that this may influence the placement of that object, i.e. offset slightly in the opposite direction. However, because there is only white space to the left of the apple it is not 'facing' anything. The only other feature in the frame is the shadow which leads the eye immediately right, making the ideal placement for the object to the left of the frame. Of the two pictures with the apple on the left, I prefer number 4, the bottom left corner. This is because the picture is of a single apple on a white background. The low position in the frame, coupled with the shadow, exaggerates the isolation in the empty space.
What did I learn?
I have learned that applying a little thought to the placement of a single object within the frame in, relation to the background can result in a more satisfying picture. Each of the elements of the picture and their relationship to the lighting and the frame must be considered for each composition. What works here may not work in another situation.