Photography Composition Rules

March 24, 2017

Over the years, I’ve worked with hundreds of photographers and with all aspects of photography, and one of the most frequent questions I hear often revolves around composition.
Composition is a tricky thing. There’s no right and no wrong. Often a photographer’s uniqueness, his or her style, is attributed largely to their approach and vision to composition.

Here I will talk about my creative project that’s consist in create a space whole with sewing machines and sewing tables in composition with fabrics, colors, lights and shadows.

Photography composition rules are a tool to understand the basic principles of design in visual arts. These composition rules are very helpful to make an image more dynamic and pleasing. However there are also times you need to break these composition rules to create a better story with your pictures. The main reason is to invite your viewers to see the whole image. By looking at the main subject positioned off center our eyes will scan the entire image. This scanning makes the photo more interesting because people will view the full scene, not just part of it.

For photographers who want to take their craft to the next level, here are a few basic composition rules to know:

Leading Lines

When there is no focal point in a shot, viewers will be unsure of where to look. The photographer, however, can use lines in order to control how a person’s eyes move around an image. Fortunately, lines exist everywhere especially in outdoor settings. Take advantage of this by finding natural lines. Horizontal and vertical lines tend to create a feel to images that is stable, calm, and static. Diagonal lines tend to produce feelings of uncertainty and movement.

The Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds has been deemed the king of composition for good reason: the human eye is naturally drawn to images that are divided into thirds with the subject falling at or along those divisions. To follow this rule, simply divide the frame into nine equal-sized parts and place the subject along one of the intersections of the lines. Try not to place the subject in the center of the frame.

Sense of Movement

To convey a sense of movement, it helps to leave a little more space in front of the subject than behind it. For example, a car moving down the road needs more space in front of it then behind it in the frame.

Patterns and Symmetry

Mother nature and human creativity often provide elements that can be leveraged for amazing compositions. Maybe it is in the desert sand, where the wind has carved random patterns in the dunes that create textures, color and leading elements in your foreground. Or maybe it is a brick or tiled floor with its uniform squares and rectangles that produce interesting ways to compose a scene that lend to scale or distance. These types of compositional elements are all around you, you just need to look for them and when you do, pause to see them from different angles – and you will be surprised at what you’ll be able to capture.


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