On 1x people often say that to complete a story you need to have a third element. Fine, but what can you do when you don't have a human around to pose for you?
How to compose the following scene so that it doesn't look "empty"?
If you think the scene looks empty, I don’t think there’s much you can do to recompose the scene to make it look less empty whilst maintaining the original point. If the point was the line of trees, then you could play with the focus point (focusing on a closer tree would have put less emphasis on the bench), but doing much beyond that, in my mind is changing the scene.
If you don’t want it to look empty, change the scene. You could take a tricycle with you. You could take some bird / animal food and scatter it on the floor in front of you to attract some wildlife to the scene (have no idea how practical this is where you are). You could cut down what’s visible in the image, focus on the bench, a smaller number of trees, the poles between the trees... Or, you could embrace the emptiness and make that the focus of the scene. An empty bench by the trees, a discarded book, glove, hat, broken umbrella, newspaper, letter...
You seem to be listening to people on 1x telling you that you need 3 things to tell a story... Great, I’ve heard similar things about 5 and odd numbers in general. But fundamentally if you’re trying to tell a story you need to know what the story is. If you know that, then you’re far more likely to figure out what it is that is missing from the shot. A line of trees can make an attractive picture, but it’s not a story. The rigid restrictions placed on nature so that it can exist in built up areas might be the start of a story... but then you’d be looking for something to emphasise that order, such as more of the straight lines from the block of flats in the distance... or contrast it with the chaotic pile of pipes behind the trees.
If you want to tell a story, the first thing to do is decide what story you want to tell... and it may be that it needs several pictures to tell it... Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with empty as long as it’s there for a reason...
You need to know what you are trying to do and (perhaps) why.
Given that scene to play with I'd try all sorts of angles and subsets. Mainly bench, through the hole in the legs, looking down, and up, and overhead tress framed by bench etc.
Given that exact position and subject material - feet may not move -
I may desperately try things like you see here
Here's one of them - BUT I'd try to find other views and angles in preference.
You have just mentioned a whole new subject.
"How do I get people to pose for me?". I can get 80%+ of random strangers to pose for me - women are easier to persuade than men - women understand that a man may wish to take their photo for whatever reason. Men wonder why you'd want to. BUT that's a whole new question. Ask it :-).
Many of the people here are strangers. (The two young women hat the sequence starts at had never met me before.
As can be seen, quite a large % in these photos don't know I'm there even when I am right in front of them, but many people will say yes when asked if they are comfortable enough with you. (In many cases here I'm an oldish white guy in Asia and people expect some of us to be camera mad, so some of the barriers are gone, but it works at home too).
@Anisha Kaul - I just came across your "Life cycle" 'story' on 500px.com . It's stunning.
I'd be hard put to say how many "elements" it had. Has it got 3? I don't know, but the story aspect was wonderful. The theme is well enough explored, some might perhaps say over explored, but your photo was marvellous to come upon suddenly and unexpectedly, evocative of a number of aspects of the theme, such that you look for other aspects, find some, and wonder if they were in your mind when you created the image. If I was crafting the image I'd probably have done some things differently, but that's wholly irrelevant. I may have added more burning candles with some suggestion of small flame growing and then shrinking - but odds are that that would just have over complicated it. Things one wonders about - it doesn't matter whether they were intended or not - the fact that they may have been - or may not have been - just adds to the effect:
Did the photographer intend all these "messages" ? - very probably not.
Why am I posting this here and not on your question that used this photo as its basis?
Who am I that my opinion should count, or not? - another of your questions.
If you continue with photos like "Life cycle" with its 'story' you can add me to your "people who are pleased" list :-).
I like the first picture better. I think that the blur is very good. It gives the impression of secretly watching someone that's all alone, and wondering if I should go over there and give them some comfort. Even though the image doesn't have any people in it, to me, the empty bench depicts a person that is alone and without friends. I think that you can build on the impression of emptiness instead of trying to fill it up. I think the construction and scaffolding behind the bench portrays other people who have outcast the invisible person on the bench. I think that when I think about it, I am seeing more and more the empty bench as an empty person.
Composition actually varies from person to person. It's not that you can just copy cat their idea into your one. To increase your composition skill I would rather suggest you to spend time watching other people's photo and then come out with something of your own. Just dont copy someone's frame - rule number one!
Now this photo is not attractive for many reasons.
Well there could be many more but in simple, to make photo of empty space more attractive - use people or use props. Always keep some small toys in your pocket because they come handy. And also read about "how to use negative space in photos". The following article could be useful