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

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

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 rules

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

composition - other examples

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.


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
Photography Tips – Techniques for Capturing City Skylines
Photography Tips – Cities at Night