Do you want to learn how your photos can be compelling pieces of art? You need to know the basic principles of composition which will help you make truly outstanding photographs.
1. Rule of thirds
Divide your image in 9 equal parts by 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines. Position the most important elements along these lines or in the points they intersect. Many cameras nowadays have the capability to display this grid in live view mode.
If you have a symmetrical object however, you can put it in the center of your composition. You can make up a symmetrical object using reflections in a lake or rive; using different color patterns or textures, and even add an object to one of the sides of the frame to spoil the symmetry and create a spectacular effect.
3. Diagonals and triangles
If you want to add dynamic in your photo, you can apply triangles or diagonal instead of horizontal/vertical lines. You can use an actual triangle shaped object or an implied triangle.
4. Rule of space
When you take a photo of a moving object, leave more space in the direction of the movement. Human eyes have a tendency to follow the direction where the object is heading. Some people recommend adding the Left to Right rule to this one, based on the fact that the human eye is used to follow objects in direction of reading… however there are parts of the world where people read exactly the opposite, so it’s up to you to decide whether to follow it or not.
5. Balancing elements
Putting your main object off-centre creates more interesting photo, but the image may look empty. You should balance its weight by including another object with lesser importance.
6. Leading lines
Leading lines focus or lead the attention towards the important elements of your photograph. You can use paths, walls, roads or repeating patterns.
7. Using frames
Framing your picture using a natural object is a great way to improve focus and accentuate the ideas you want to convey. You can even include a frame within a frame to add a depth in your photo.
8. Golden ratio
… or Fibonacci Spiral even Phi Grid is the most complex rule we have for you. Hardly anyone hasn’t seen the famous spiral, overlapped on a photograph to demonstrate the rule. Instead of giving you sophisticated guidelines or incomprehensible formulas, we can advise you to visit as many exhibitions as possible or to get familiar with the work of famous photographers to grasp intuitively this principle of composition.
There are no absolute rules. Sometimes it’s a good idea to experiment in order to create a memorable and unique photograph. Here are some tips how:
– Change your point of view from the eye level – sometimes this thing only can make a difference;
– Be minimalistic – you’ve heard the saying “less is more”, try to follow;
– Isolate your main subject – blur the background to underline one single object in your frame;
– Use color combinations – you can achieve a lot if you learn how to apply the science of colors.