LEADING LINES One of the tools you can use as aphotographer to create a meaningful compositionis to use leading lines. Leading lines are used todraw the viewer’s eye through a photograph. Theyare intentional or unintentional, natural linescreated in the space of the photograph and areused to create a visual narrative in thecomposition. Leading lines are also used to drawyour eye to a focal point in the shot that youwould like to highlight.
RULE OF THIRDS In the rule of thirds, photos are divided into thirds withtwo imaginary lines vertically and two lines horizontally makingthree columns, three rows, and nine sections in the images.Important compositional elements and leading lines are placedon or near the imaginary lines and where the lines intersect. When taking a photograph with the rule of thirds in mind,it’s always best to compose the photograph in the camera. Thisis so that you can avoid cropping later to retain as much of theimage as possible and avoid reducing the quality of yourphotographs. However, I encourage going back to some of yourolder photography and seeing if you can improve them bycropping in a way to make them use the rule of thirdstechnique.
FILL THE FRAME Fill the frame with as much of thesubject as you can. This can be doneby getting in extremely close, orsimply changing your angle ofperspective. Any distractingbackground is eliminated, and theimage is much more intimate, viewedat an eye-to-eye level.
FRAMING THE SUBJECT We often put the photos we take intoframes as a way of displaying and drawingattention to our favorite photos – but thereis another type of framing that you can doas you’re taking your shots that can be justas effective doing just the same thing! Framing is the technique of drawingattention to the subject of your image byblocking other parts of the image withsomething in the scene.
U N U S UA L A N G L E / V I E W P O I N T S A view angle can be used to create compellingcomposition to a photo. By choosing unusual angleof view, one can create a composition that issomething out of the ordinary. You often seephotos of famous sights that are photographedfrom the eye level and straight from in front of thesight. Many photos are taken from the most naturallocation and view angle which is of course logical.However, it means that many photos taken bydifferent people from the same sight might looksomewhat similar.
DEPTH OF FIELD Depth of field is the amount of distancebetween the nearest and farthest objects thatappear in acceptably sharp focus in aphotograph. A preferred selection Depth of field("DOF") in a focused subject in an image can bequite subjective. Remember this, adequateselection of DOF for one situation, applicationmay be unacceptable for another photographer.It is all a matter of personal preference whentrying to determine the appropriate use of DOFto enhance an effect in a photograph.
S Y M M E T RY / PAT T E R N S / T E X T U R E We are surrounded by symmetry and patterns, both natural and man-made., They can make for very eye-catching compositions, particularly in situations where they are not expected. Another great way to use them is to break the symmetry or pattern in some way, introducing tension and a focal point to the scene.