THE RULES OF
COMPOSITION
BY PETER HALL
“Rules are foolish, arbitrary, mindless things that
raise you quickly to a level of acceptable
mediocrity, then prevent yo...
“There are no rules for good photographs, only
good photographs”
Ansel Adams
What is composition ?
“an arrangement of the parts of a work of art so
as to form a unified, harmonious whole”
The Art of ...
What is your photograph of ?
• A thing ?
What is your photograph of ?
• A place ?
What is your photograph of ?
• A person ?
What is your photograph of ?
• An event ?
What is your photograph of ?
• Nothing at all ?
“a good photograph is knowing
where to stand” Ansel Adams
• Where do I stand ?
If you stand where everyone else is, you wi...
A contradiction 1 – fill the frame
A contradiction 2 – negative space
The only unbreakable rule ?
The only unbreakable rule ?
• Straight horizons !
Except when you break it...
Oh no, it’s...
Oh no, it’s...the rule of thirds
Selective focus
Lead in lines
Lead in lines - direction
The S Curve
Foreground
Framing within the frame
Juxtaposition
Square
Panorama or ‘letter box’
Symmetry
Diptych
Odd numbers (the preference for 3)
Repeating patterns
Simplicity
http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterphotographic
Ignite Images
The Rules of Composition - June 2014
The Rules of Composition - June 2014
The Rules of Composition - June 2014
The Rules of Composition - June 2014
The Rules of Composition - June 2014
The Rules of Composition - June 2014
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The Rules of Composition - June 2014

  1. 1. THE RULES OF COMPOSITION BY PETER HALL
  2. 2. “Rules are foolish, arbitrary, mindless things that raise you quickly to a level of acceptable mediocrity, then prevent you from progressing further” The Art of Photography, Bruce Barnbaum
  3. 3. “There are no rules for good photographs, only good photographs” Ansel Adams
  4. 4. What is composition ? “an arrangement of the parts of a work of art so as to form a unified, harmonious whole” The Art of Photography, Bruce Barnbaum
  5. 5. What is your photograph of ? • A thing ?
  6. 6. What is your photograph of ? • A place ?
  7. 7. What is your photograph of ? • A person ?
  8. 8. What is your photograph of ? • An event ?
  9. 9. What is your photograph of ? • Nothing at all ?
  10. 10. “a good photograph is knowing where to stand” Ansel Adams • Where do I stand ? If you stand where everyone else is, you will take the same photograph • Where do I look ? When everybody is looking up – look down • Which way do I hold my camera ? Still (usually)
  11. 11. A contradiction 1 – fill the frame
  12. 12. A contradiction 2 – negative space
  13. 13. The only unbreakable rule ?
  14. 14. The only unbreakable rule ? • Straight horizons !
  15. 15. Except when you break it...
  16. 16. Oh no, it’s...
  17. 17. Oh no, it’s...the rule of thirds
  18. 18. Selective focus
  19. 19. Lead in lines
  20. 20. Lead in lines - direction
  21. 21. The S Curve
  22. 22. Foreground
  23. 23. Framing within the frame
  24. 24. Juxtaposition
  25. 25. Square
  26. 26. Panorama or ‘letter box’
  27. 27. Symmetry
  28. 28. Diptych
  29. 29. Odd numbers (the preference for 3)
  30. 30. Repeating patterns
  31. 31. Simplicity
  32. 32. http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterphotographic Ignite Images

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