We’re at Week 38 of professional pet photography blog circle Project 52. This week we our continuing our exploration of visual mass, or the pull of an object in an image, with the topic of “balance and tension.” As we’ve been doing most of this year, we’re covering another chapter from “The Visual Toolbox: 60 Lessons for Stronger Photographers” by David DuChemin. 

Here are some visuals to help illustrate balance and tension conceptually. We may not always have our images in balance, but we need to understand why it might work to do so. From this illustration, you can see how static balance differs from dynamic balance in that there is more tension in the dynamic balance.

This past weekend, I did an in-store photo event at EarthWise Pet Supply at Harper’s Point to help them celebrate their second anniversary. I took photos of lots of dogs over the two-day event. On Sunday, Mr. Bojangles had his monthly chihuahua playgroup, Cincinnati Chihuahuas, so we invited some of his friends over to the celebration for photos.

In the above image Mr. Bojangles is the brightest object in the frame, so draws our eye, even though he is both close in size and proximity to the flowers to the right of the frame. In the next image, we have Coco, Mr. Bojangles’ girlfriend. This image has a slightly different balance in that Coco is farther away from the flowers and her color is similar to the burlap that surrounds the base of the flowers.

Next, we have Mr. Bojangles’ good friend, Gizmo. He is even brighter than Mr. Bojangles so draws our attention more so than the flowers. In this frame, the flowers are positioned differently so as to create a different sense of balance than in the other two images.

Now, to see the pull of more visual mass, head over to Kim with BARKography based in Charlotte, NC, and then around the rest of the blog circle until you end up back here.

If you would like to book a custom pet portrait session in your home or other favorite location, use the hot pink “BOOK NOW” button to the right of this post (at the bottom or your screen on mobile), send us an email to suzi [at] petlovephotography.com, or give us a call at 513-288-1650 in the Greater Cincinnati area or at 650-382-3242 in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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