Composition10 Techniques To Help Your PhotosContent in this presentation taken from Photography Mad at www.photographymad.com
Important Terms• Composition: The way elements in an image are arranged.• Foreground: Elements that are closest to the viewer.• Background: Elements that are in deep space or behind the focal point in a composition.• Focal Point: The subject (either visual or emotional) of a composition.
Rule of Thirds• Imagine that your image is divided into 9 equal segments using 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines.• The Rule of Thirds says that you should place the most important elements in your scene along these lines or at the points where they intersect
Balancing Elements• Placing your main subject off center can make your composition more interesting.• But, you need to balance the visual weight of your subject by including another object of lesser importance.
Leading Lines• When looking at photographs our eye is naturally drawn along lines.• By thinking about how lines are placed in your composition you can lead or guide the viewer through a scene.• Line can be straight, diagonal, curvy, zigzag, radial, etc.
Symmetry and Patterns• We are surrounded by symmetry and patterns both natural and handmade.• These symmetry and patterns can make interesting photographic compositions.• Think about breaking the symmetry or pattern in some way which will create tension and/or a focal point to the scene.
Viewpoint• Before photographing a subject, take time to think about where you will shoot from.• Viewpoint has a massive impact on the composition of the photograph and the message it conveys.• Consider shooting from high above, down at ground level, from the side, from the back, from a long way away, from very close up…
Background• The human eye is excellent at distinguishing between different elements in a scene.• A camera tends to flatten space which brings the foreground and background together.• Look at the background of the scene you are about to photograph to determine its impact on the composition.• Make sure it won’t distract or detract from the subject.
Depth• You can create depth in a photo by including objects in the foreground, middle ground and background.• Overlapping is a useful compositional technique where you deliberately partially obscure one object with another.• The human eye recognizes and separates them, creating an understandable sense of depth.
Framing• Using natural objects, such as trees, archways and holes can create perfect natural frames.• By placing these around the edge of a composition you can help isolate the main subject.• The result is a more focused image which draws your eye naturally to the main point of interest.
Cropping• By cropping tight around a subject you eliminate the background “noise”.• This ensures the viewer will see the focal point of a composition and not be confused by the surrounding imagery.• In the following example you’ll see repetition used as a compositional technique, too.
Experimentation• One of the most important compositional and photographic techniques is experimentation.• With digital photography you can experiment endlessly without any financial consequence (unlike film photography).• Give yourself time to experiment so that you can discover new possibilities.