The Composition Answer: Where did I put the Piano?

Last week I posted a Composition Test asking where you thought I should put the small little wooden piano a client recently asked me to add to their family portrait.

The response was better than expected and you came up with some really good answers and ideas.

I have to be honest…

While going through the Compositing process for my recently revealed “Watermelon Martinis” family portrait, I initially had the idea to place the small piano at point #2, but really felt uncomfortable with its placement.

After quickly finding the perfect spot for it, I thought this would make a perfect exercise in Composition, so I posted the “Composition Test: Where do I put the piano?”

Ok, it was my wife Taren’s suggestion, but I’m taking the credit. LOL

Let’s revisit the Composition Test to see what options I gave before revealing my final placement.

The Composition Test

I believe artists follow one of two paths when it comes to Composing a picture, which is why I asked “WHY” would you place the piano where you’ve chosen to place it.

You see, it’s the WHY that matters to me.

Here’s the test before I go down this brainy rabbit hole.

You were given 3 spots within the Composited Portrait I created to place my client’s small wooden piano, which you could choose 1, 2, or 3.

test your composition knowledge with this simple composition test

I believe everyone is creative but I don’t believe everyone neurologically creates the same way.

You’ve heard of the Right Brain – Left Brain thing, right?

right and left brain for creativity

Creatives are Right-Brained and Analytical people are Left-Brained, right?

Photography, in my opinion, is unique from all other forms of art like painting, drawing, graphic art, illustration, performance art, or sculpture making.

Maybe not music, but it’s definitely unique in the sense that it is very Left-Brain technically and very Right-Brain compositionally, which means photographers approach the creative process very differently.

Do you Composite your images using your Right or Left brain?

My Composition Test Answer & Why

I wish I had some cleaver Compositional answer for you but if I did, that would mean I’m a Left-Brain creative, which I’m definitely not.

I chose to place my client’s small wooden piano at point #3.

photo composite portrait of jose loza and tracy herron of dallas tx

Now, you might be thinking, “#3? Why the hell would you choose #3 where everything else is?”

Ah! Great question.

I chose position #3 over 1 or 2 because it just felt right.

Here’s why…

Compositional Balance

First of all, the small wooden piano isn’t very big so it doesn’t offer much weight to the image to start with, but the balance isn’t just about stuff. While there is a lot of stuff in the bottom right corner of this Composited Portrait, it is easily balanced out by the openness of the sky in the top left corner.


Audience’s Attention

It’s true, this small little wooden piano is significant to my client but it’s not so significant that it needs to distract the attention of the audience away from my clients.

The most important objects in this Composite are my clients.

Eye Movements

Lastly, and probably most importantly, I placed the piano at point #3 to keep the audience’s eye in the portrait. The red shoes, along with the piano, are placed there to hold the eye in the portrait.

Where your eye goes makes all the difference.

That’s a Wrap

Remember, art is subjective, so you may or may not agree with my Left-Brained reasoning, which by the way is stated simply to justify why I FEEL a Composition should be a certain way or not.

What’s your creative process?

Leave a comment below and share whether you think you’re a Left or Right-Brain creative.

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