Beginners Guide to Photography Composition
Limerick is where all the fun and creativity really gets going in our photography gamble. This is where all the magic happens!
We’ve nailed the photography basics, gotten familiar with our camera settings and the Exposure Triangle, and nosotros’re rotating some dials and getting used to shooting RAW images in Manual Mode.
But we’re still missing a vital ingredient in our photography. Our photographs don’t look every bit compelling as those nosotros’ve been admiring online or in galleries, and that’south all down to light and composition.
Limerick is one of the virtually of import aspects of photography, whether y’all’re trying to principal landscape photography or start up a wedding ceremony photography business.
Limerick is what nosotros’re going to comprehend here, and it’due south where all the fun and inventiveness really gets going in our photography adventure. Nosotros can prepare ourselves autonomously from the crowd hither and really introduce a sense of individuality into our images. This is where all the magic happens!
What is Composition?
- The nature of something’s ingredients or constituents; the style in which a whole or mixture is made upward.
The dictionary definition of limerick pretty much sums information technology up with regards to photography limerick as well. The limerick of an epitome is just the manner all the individual subjects inside our frame combine to form the last image. Nosotros tin alter our composition by moving around, zooming in or out, irresolute lenses, or even just crouching downward.
The possibilities are nearly endless with regards to limerick, and even the slightest tweak can make a large difference to the finished photograph. Once y’all get the hang of it y’all’ll start seeing every scene as a potential compositional goldmine.
This is the creative side of photography; a rabbit hole of endless opportunity. Here’s five quick tips to get you lot started thinking almost composition:
1. Movement of the Centre
This is the number one thing you should think about before taking any photograph. How volition the viewer’due south eye react to this scene? Height to bottom, left to right, how will a person’s eye movement around your photograph?
What we want is for the middle to catamenia around the photograph, and ideally stay within the frame. If a viewer’southward eye is drawn outside the frame then we’ve lost their attention for all intensive purposes. We tin use a number of techniques to try and keep the viewer’s attention, but this is the first question to ask yourself earlier taking a photograph.
One important attribute to annotation is distractions. Are there any distractions that accept abroad from your chief subject(s)? If so, think about ways to remove them from the image.
2. Rule of Thirds
No compositional list is complete without mentioning the rule of thirds. It’s virtually as ingrained in photography equally anything, and while information technology’southward definitely non something to bide past 100% of the time it’due south a perfect framework when starting out.
Basically, you should epitome your frame divided upwards into nine equal rectangles, so in that location’due south an overlaid grid on it. The most important aspects of your image should be placed at the intersection of these gridlines, with whatever lines within your epitome trying to follow the gridlines besides.
See the image above for case. The chief foreground cloth are these huge irregular boulders, placed on the intersection in the lesser correct. The horizon runs along the height third of the gridlines, with the rising sunday and mist shrouded valley occupying the important space effectually the top left intersection and creating a more than balanced photograph.
The theory is that it creates a more balanced photo and allows the viewer’south eye to drift around more naturally. There are many studies showing that people’south eyes tend to become to one of these intersection points start rather than dead centre. That’south why Auntie Beatrice’s family photographs expect and so dull — Because she’s placing anybody dead centre of the frame!
I must stress, and I will mention it afterward, that this isn’t a dominion to follow all the time. It’southward simply the all-time way to go started thinking about composition, and it does piece of work a
of the time. Nevertheless, if you apply it in every unmarried i of your images they beginning to become a bit sterile and predictable, and nobody wants that!
three. Edge Patrol
This is a fantastic piece of terminology that I heard one of the UKs top mural photographers use once, and it’s stuck with me to this twenty-four hours. The premise is well-nigh equally unproblematic as they come up: Skirt your eyes around the edges of your frame in every photograph and brand certain at that place are no unwanted subjects invading from the borders.
This means any stray tree branches, half of a rock that looks unsightly, or a disembodied paw floating around. These invaders become unwanted distractions, and with them being then shut to the edge of your photo they inevitably lead to the viewer’s center leaving the frame. And call up Rule 1 — We don’t want that happening!
4. Leading Lines
This is another very traditional rule of composition that ties in very closely with Rule 1. We desire to look for lines within our image that draw the viewer’southward middle into the scene rather than away from it.
These can be physical lines such as fences or walls or more metaphorical lines such equally shadows, or even a hand pointing into the image. Many subjects can be used for leading lines, and they tin really add a sense of depth to a photograph.
That, in fact, is one of our main challenges every bit photographers. We are trying to portray a 3-dimensional scene with a two-dimensional photo, then anything we tin can employ to enhance the sense of depth is very useful.
Take the prototype above, for instance. The stone benches in the foreground curve around and pb the eye into the scene, pointing you lot towards the towered background. All this worked in conjunction with the dominion of thirds on this occasion as well.
5. Rule of Odd Numbers
Studies have shown, and I actually have no idea why, that people adopt odd numbers over even numbers when looking at something. For some reason people feel more at ease when looking at photographs with an odd number of subjects, so information technology’s something nosotros tin utilise to further enhance our photography limerick.
Obviously there are some areas where this just doesn’t work, such as wedding photos to take i big example. However, a lot of other scenes tin can utilise this guideline, such every bit including but three copse instead of four, or getting a candid group shot of five people instead of vi.
This might not seem similar such a big change, but I guarantee that now I’ve put information technology in your encephalon you will starting time to notice it everywhere!
Bonus Tip: Interruption the Rules and Have Fun!
This is something I always try to convey to students. These are called “Rules of Composition” simply in my optics they are nothing just guidelines or starting points. At that place are occasions when we want to break out of the traditional mould and go for something dissimilar, and I encourage you to get creative and experiment.
Tried the dominion of thirds and the photo even so didn’t look right? Go completely against it and place everything dead centre instead. Go out there and practise, and soon limerick volition go like 2d nature for you!
Have any of these compositional tips helped you improve as a lensman? Or accept we missed out your favourite tip? Either way let us know in the comments!
Read the adjacent in the series hither!
Posted by: Fusiontr.com