In fact, we should avoid centering the subject.  There is another saying though: “when we know the rules, we can break the rule”.  The most important word here is “can” this means that this is a well thought decision; this is our intention to put the subject in the center of the frame.


Centering the subject is not a great idea.

For #SquareSunday curated by +Matt Soave

What is the subject of this picture?  In theory, the subject is in focus.  The piece with the shape of the number 8 is then the subject and it is in the center.  Or is it?

When looking at this picture further, we see that these lobster traps are perfectly aligned.  They seem to go far away.  The perspective created by leading lines starting in both left corner contribute to create this impression of distance and repetition.  Furthermore, the depth of field is minimal and enhance this perception of distance and repetition.

If fact, the subject is not the number eight (which is also used to represent infinite) but the infinite repetition of lobster traps is the real subject.

Fishermen that are catching lobster must lay down many traps like these to make a living.

This picture alone does not tell a lot.  In the context of a story with all the details about the life of fishermen catching lobster this picture would bring more value.

This is a “detail shot”. When creating a documentary about a subject, we need not only the words that depict the situation but also key pictures that support the story.  Detail shot like this  enhance the message associated with the key pictures.  These pictures would not survive alone, unless their aesthetics and artistic aspects are strong.  My lovely wife just stop by my screen and she said that she love this picture.  However, she would not put this picture on her wall…

Would you put this picture on your wall?

Thanks for reading.  If you found this article interesting, please use the options below to share it with your friends.  Your comments are always really appreciated.