Sport photo review: all about balance, movement and weight

By Samuel Ogunlaja

Getting Started by Andy Collins

Initial Thoughts

This photo has...

  • Perfect exposure

  • Rhythmic movement of the yellow team

  • A balanced camera position and angle

When a photo is properly exposed, as it is here, it creates interest. The photographer did a good job balancing the exposure; so well that every single color comes out looking realistic.

Another thing that makes this photo interesting is the camera position and balance. The photographer positioned him or herself very close to the centre of the two teams and the camera is balanced (not tilted forward or backwards) to create a fantastic triangle (see below) between the spectators and the two teams which greatly improves the composition of the photo.

The rhythmic movement of the yellow team as they advance towards the other team calls the viewers attention too, this introduces a strong story into the photo, one that complements the photographers title - “Getting Started”.

However, despite the above points, there are a few things the photographer could have done better. Let us go through them one by one.

Visual Weight

This is a principle in photography that suggests that a photographer should apportion the most space to the most important elements in their photo in other to lay more emphasis. In the case of this photo, the sky took 56.4% space of the entire frame (as scaled in Photoshop) while the main subject (being the players and pitch) took the remaining 43.6% space. (See below)

The implication here is that viewers will have to struggle with the narrative as the sky will catch their attention more than the main subject. More so, the sky has lots of details in it which has the tendency to distract the viewer from the main subject. So, this photo would have been better composed if more space had been apportioned to the players and the pitch with the sky complimenting rather than overpowering the scene. (See below)

Rule of thirds

The second thing that could have made this image more interesting is a better application of the Rule of Thirds. The rule suggests that a photographer mentally divides up an image using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines; (as shown below) the photographer then positions the most important elements in the scene along those lines, or at the points where they meet. The image as it is seems to apply it, but it could have been improved if the photographer had first considered which part of the image should carry the visual weight. This would have helped to lay more emphasis on the main elements and to sequentially follow the narratives. (See comparison bellow)



Final Thoughts

In conclusion, this is a great photo overall. The photographer only needs to take more time to think through his/her narratives, and deploy every possible way to get the message across without distractions.

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