How to use the Zoomfinder
The holding track and the sliding sheet of the Zoomfinder form a rectangle or a square opening. The rectangle or square can increase or decrease in size, but still maintain the height and width; like the view finder of camera. The Zoomfinder can be used on location or on a printed photograph. Move the Zoomfinder over and/or around the desired image or view and adjust the size of the opening until the best composition is found.
Generally, zooming in will allow you to eliminate unnecessary parts of the image and will allow you to focus on the main subject. In this case you may lose some information. Conversely, zooming out will include lots of information but the essential part of the presentation may be too small and not make for a good composition.
1. Zooming for the human figure:
Very often a photo of a person includes much more of the body that's needed for a great composition. The face becomes so small that it is difficult to see any detail. Zoom in to the upper body and you will improve the emphasis of the person. Now you will have a new negative shape between the person and the corner of the rectangle. See how this negative shape becomes more interesting?
2. Zooming for the still life:
The photos below all provide a different feeling, though they come from the same source.
3. Zooming for center of interest:
When you're designing for the painting, look for the shape and color and follow the rules of design. Think about what will be the center of interest. The center of interest will be the highlight of the presentation.
4. Zooming for white shape:
White-shape and surrounding area are an important part in the picture as the center of interest will be near by. While zooming in or zooming out, keep in mind to place the white area in the right place.
Too many objects in one picture can cause competition between them and make the viewer confused. Select a part of the picture with good composition. There are several more options to select for other paintings.
6. Eliminate uninteresting shapes:
Zooming in can remove not so interesting spaces and bring drama into the picture.
7. Even with many trials sometime things are still not perfect. You may have to modify some parts for the best composition.
8. Avoid these things:
a. Crop right on the tip of nose.
b. Crop right on the center of circular object such as face and flower.
c. Crop right on the joint of person.
d. Put the center of interest at the dead center of rectangle.
e. Put the dividing straight line in the mid portion of rectangle.
9. The rules of design are not absolute.
For an artist's own creative activity sometimes one can ignore the rules but be aware of the consequences.