Composition in Photography
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between an average photo and a remarkable photograph? How do you know how if a photo works? What makes a photograph outstanding? Is it the setting (or environment), depth-of-field, the subject, lighting (either ambient or artificial), balance, the use of lines, how space is utilized, the uses of color, or contrast?
Photography is about communication between the photographer and the viewer. It’s all about the photographer telling their story through an image. So what makes for a great image? The answer can be rather subjective. Most of us would agree that a great image strikes a chord inside of us. It evokes a strong emotional response in the viewer. But there are also a some tangible elements of a good photography.
There are a few basic rules of composition that you need to be aware of and practice:
The Rule of Thirds
Simply put, divide the view-finder into thirds, vertically and horizontally. The four intersecting points are where you want to place subject matter of interest.
The “S” Curve
Will help you lead the viewer’s eye toward objects you wish to emphasize; also, a pleasing pattern.
The exact correspondence of form on the opposites sides of a dividing line. Our eye demands symmetry.
Symmetry is Important!
Our eyes have been exposed to symmetry or near-symmetry since the day we were born and our MIND now demands it … is conditioned to it. So, it is a factor that cannot be ignored. If you are presented with a scene that has symmetry you should not ignore it. You should do your best to compose that photograph precisely so that you emphasize and balance the scene. If you do ignore the apparent symmetry, you will create an un-balanced picture that is uncomfortable to the human eye.
So rules listed above–“Rule of Thirds“, “S” Curve, and Symmetry–are important, but they are not set in stone. Look for ways to use the rules …………. Rule of thirds, for instance….Here, all four points have an element of interest. Or look for ways to bend the rules a bit …
A variation of that “S” curve … and, breaking away from symmetry to add a touch of dimensionality and drama. Once you have practiced and worked with these rules …. learn how to break them successfully!!!!
Every image must have a clear subject (with some minor exceptions). Perspective plays an import role. The placement of the subject, as well as the background and foreground. Take a moment and how you can see various compositions in these photographs…
We tend to equate horizontal scenes with quiet and tranquility….
and vertical photograph compositions suggest power and majesty.
We always … automatically look at people’s eyes first.
Or we will look to that part of the scene that stands out – contrasts – with the rest of the image. So keep these factors in mind … there will be times when you need to draw on them to turn a rather straight-forward image into one that stands out…….
Let’s head back to the main page for more lessons on composition.