Photography compostion tips

rule-of-third


Some people say that there are set rules to composition which is not entirely true. It all depends on what look you are going for in the particular image. You should certainly pay close attention to your photography composition – so i have create a list of some basic guidelines to help you think a little bit more about what you are photographing!

Cropping to focus on the subject. 

Sometimes your picture will lack any real impact if a boring background takes up most of the image. If you want the viewer to have their full attention on one part of the image make it cover up most of the space! If  you need to do this by cropping, go ahead.

Use natural objects to create frame.

Let say that you are taking a picture of a car in the middle of the city. The tall buildings would make a really nice natural frame to the image – so perhaps you could try going into portrait mode to get more of the natural framing objects into the shot to enhance your focal point.

Get something in the foreground.

If you are taking shots of large landscapes it can be hard to fully appreciate the scale of them. So try to put an object in the foreground that viewers would recognise the scale of. I feel that this adds so much more to the picture because the human eye naturally works things out by layering closer and farther objects.

Background

A lot of the time the focal point of your image can have less of an impact when there is a busy background. You can  black out the background in a studio setting or only have your subject in focus using a fast lens. Or your can simply move your subject to a place where the background is obstructive. An important one to think about.

View point

Think about the story that you want to tell in the picture. If the focal point should look big and imposing then you should be taking the picture from below. If you want it to look smaller take it from above. A natural photograph will always be taken from eye level.

Leading line

For me a leading line should go diagonally across the picture. This is because i look at the leading line as a journey through the image and a diagonal line will pretty much always be the longest distance. (an example of a leading line would be a road going from the bottom left to top right)

Getting the right balance in your focus objects

A foreground object should always look natural to the viewer in my opinion. Placing the object directly in the middle of the shot will look awkward and a little amateurish so instead off-centre it using the rule of thirds.

The rule of thirds

This is a part of composition that every photographer should at least know about. The rule of thirds is essentially the idea that your image is divided into 9 equal squares. A lot of cameras will have a feature built in to show you but once you have a rough idea of where they are it is easy enough to guess.

Here is a rule of thirds grid:

rule-of-third

The principal is that you would place anything important either on a vertical or horizontal line or both.

So there are some composition ideas for you. Its not the be all and end all because there isn’t one really but, if you take these tips on-board it should make your pictures look better!

johnhoward

Photographer and writer for jhphotographer.co.uk

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