Golden Diagonal Composition / Kyoto Station, 2018
Golden Diagonal Composition / Kyoto Station, 2018

Dear friend, I made you (yes, another) epic GOPRO POV STREET PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEO in the streets of Kyoto. This time, I show you how to get close, fill the frame, and use the golden diagonal composition.

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Technique 1: Getting Close & Filling the Frame

Getting close and filling the frame of the sea of people. At crosswalk in Kyoto Station, 2018

The basic idea is this:

  1. At a crowded/busy crosswalk, walk across the crosswalk, and walk directly INTO the stream of people.
  2. Shoot head-on and fill the frame with your 24mm, 28mm, or 35mm lens in street photography.
  3. Keep shooting and clicking while you’re walking. Get close enough that you’re filling the frame with your subjects from edge-to-edge in the frame.
  4. Keep walking and shooting, and don’t review your photos until you get home.

Technique 2: Golden Diagonal Composition

On this blog, I have called this compositional technique the ‘golden rectangle‘ as well as the ‘golden triangle‘. Effectively they are all the same thing, based on the fibonacci spiral / the “golden section” which we see a lot in the composition of Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Moving forward, to keep the terminology more simple and direct, I prefer the term: “GOLDEN DIAGONAL”.

Why ‘golden diagonal’?

Well — it is a reminder to just add more dynamic DIAGONAL lines to our street photographs. Pretty simple.

All you have to know is this: Get close, shoot a lot, and try to emphasize diagonals. You can see in this photograph with the lady and the orange coat, the way I was able to get a dynamic diagonal composition is because I was shooting close with a 24mm lens, and got this moment when I was REALLY CLOSE, and she was walking out of the frame.

You can do the same.

Intersecting lines

Effectively if you draw two diagonal lines across the frame, and make a 90 degree intersection/perpendicular lines, you create a dynamic composition. I think you can only apply this composition grid after you’ve shot the photograph. In other words, use the ‘golden diagonal’ composition grid as a rule to analyze your photos “post-mortem” (after you’ve shot them). Or better yet, try to think of diagonals while you’re shooting on the streets.

Also watch the video embedded on WordPress here:

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All photos from the video

You can also see all the photos on Dropbox here.


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