Photography Basics – Composition

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The way you compose your photograph will determine how interesting or useful it is for your audience or buyers. I have outlined some of the rules below…

Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is where you split your scene into 9 squares. You then position the point of interest across the intersection of one or several of these squares. This is important if you are taking images that will be used in magazines or sold as it adds copy space. Copy space allows designers to add text and other objects to your image. As well as allowing copy space this helps prevent your image looking too busy and therefore it will look more professional. See below…

Rule of Thirds
Rule of Thirds
The Eiffel Tower at Sunset with space on the right for copy space
The Eiffel Tower at Sunset with space on the right for copy space

The picture can cross any of the intersections. See below…

Road and mountains in Pleasant Bay - Cape Breton
Use of copy space on an image

Leading Lines

Leading lines is a technique that makes a viewer follow a path towards your subject. It is a powerful technique that can make some of the most visually appealing images.

Leading Lines on an image
Leading Lines on an image

Breaking the Rules

The rules can be broken. See below where the image is across the middle of the frame and doesn’t cross any particular intersections.

Breaking the Rule of Thirds
Breaking the Rule of Thirds

In the image above copy space has been position below the image

Interesting Composition
Interesting Composition and disappearing perspective

In this image, there is no copy space, but the image is still interesting as the bikes lead away from the front. It’s also good to have a gradual blurriness from the front of the frame as well.

Summary

Composition is fun, and one of the first things you should learn to take good photographs. It’ll instantly make your images look more professional, but also provide more uses for your images if you wanted to try and make some money from them. An agency I submit to is Shutterstock. You can read about how to submit to them here.

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Other photography posts:

Ultimate Tips for Travel Photography
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Photography Tips – Cities at Night