What is composition in photography and how can a deeper understanding of its concept help you improve your photos? Composition simply refers to developing a photographic eye to enhance photographic work. By continuously developing your photographic eye, you will develop better visual skills and abilities as a photographer. In this post, we will break down all the essential composition techniques that separate a good shot from an impressive shot.
One of the founding elements of a strong composition lies in effectively framing the subject within a shot. While the natural inclination is to put the main focal point front and center of the frame, this could result in odd-looking placement of the focal point. To offset this effect, consider placing the focal point either to the one side or in a corner of the frame just so you can create context for the image. This doesn’t apply if you are shooting portraits because such type of shots requires the subject to be in the center of the frame. That being said, photography is all about experimenting with different shots, don’t be afraid to explore your options to mix things up!
In photography, it’s important to consider how every element within a frame relate to each other. From here, you decide if a certain element has to be included or left out of the shot. While it’s tempting to fill every shot with as many points of interest as possible, always consider how the elements play out together. This means, you need to be selective as elements within a shot are concerned. Execute every shot with careful consideration to get the most out of every picture.
Rule of Thirds
One of the basic rules of composition is the rule of thirds. The method refers to the division of the frames into thirds: vertically, horizontally and using the lines to bisect your image. From here you will section off areas of the shot and using the nodes at which the lines cross as areas for points of interest. The rule of thirds is commonly used for landscape shots or portrait shots.
Before taking a shot, it’s essential to consider it in context and how the surrounding elements relate to one another. This means checking how the shapes, textures, the tones and the colors of the main focal point compare with that of the surrounding area. If you see a strong correlation between the main focal point and the surrounding area, highlight it using composition to tie all elements together in the shot. On the other hand, if you see contrasting elements between the focal point and the surrounding elements, highlight those differences too.
Patterns and Symmetry
Showcasing varying patterns and symmetry in a frame, especially in architecture, makes for a dramatic, compelling shot. When it comes to highlighting patterns and symmetry in a frame, you need to take your time observing the subject and recognizing the patterns, which includes the lines and the shapes. Carefully set up the camera so it sits square to the subject. To minimize the disruption of patterns or symmetry within a frame and maximize the effects, leave any external distractions from the shot.