Positioning a point

Positioning a point

This simple exercise demonstrates the effect that placing points in different parts of the frame has on an image and how and where to place these points. A point has to be small in relation to the frame and contrasting to the background so that it appears dominant in the image; a point cannot be disguised within the background.

In the introduction to ‘Part Two – Elements of Design’, it stated that colour can very much be a distraction, I have decided to work in black-and-white for the remainder of this part of the module; I very much like to work in black-and-white. I have taken three images labelled ‘centre’, ‘close to the edge’ and ‘off-centre’ for this exercise.



Positioning a point in the centre of the frame, more often than not, creates a very static image. In this image of a brick wall with a hole in the center, the hole acts as the point. It is both contrasting enough and small enough to meet the criteria of a point in a photograph. The image, although the point is central, works quite well. The central point combined with the uncluttered and repetitive background adds symmetry which is then taken away by the salt residue on the surface of the wall. The hole in the wall makes you wonder what is beyond it and lends a sense of mystery.

Close to the Edge

Close to the edge 

The point in this image is the alarm sticker located in the top left corner of the frame.  Generally speaking, a point situated in this part of the frame is poor for the aesthetics of the image, but here it works quite well. The clear divide that runs just to the right of the center of the frame helps to balance the image; this divide creates a large dark area which, with its weight, creates a more balanced image allowing the point to be positioned further towards the edge than would normally be allowed. There is also a clear horizontal divide running through the lighter area which helps in the same way.



The point here, delicately placed just off-centre in the top of the frame, stands out well; the clear, uncluttered background makes the subject stand out. The low early evening sun lights the point well whilst keeping a lot of the background fairly subdued creating a strong contrast. The shadow that falls across the frame sits at where the rule-of-thirds would suggest it sits.


This exercise was created to teach us the benefits that positioning a point in a certain place in the frame has in a photograph. I learnt that you can, if you try, make a point work in all parts of the frame so long as the balance, composition and contrast enables it. At first I was expecting both the central positioning and ‘close to the edge’ to appear unattractive but I tried to make each point work by using what has been taught to me in ‘part one’ of the module; this, in turn, has prevailed.


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