When I was visiting San Francisco, I played around with composing images that look “flat.” My goal with these images was to create a collage effect within the frame with elements that are were not in the same plane of view in the camera. As we discussed Exploring with a Camera: Visual Weight this last week, I realized one of the ways I was creating a “flat” image was by not having a dramatic visual weight difference between the elements.
This image of signs in Chinatown is an example. While there are some differences in visual weight of the elements, due to colors and size of the type, they are quite minimized on the whole. To me, the overlapping elements flatten and you don’t perceive the true distance you are looking through in the image at first glance. It looks like a collage of shapes overlaid within the frame. I could have emphasized that effect by converting to monochromatic, as I did with this image I shared last week.
It’s interesting to discover how visual weight in my images can work for me in more than one way. If I want to enhance a subject and create a clear focal point for the eye, I can use the principles of visual weight to make the subject the “weightiest” part of the composition. If I want to create an image without a clear focal point, I can use the principles of visual weight to even out the elements within the frame.
What are you discovering with Visual Weight as we explore? Please share!