The Rules of composition.
Have you ever wondered why certain photographs catch your attention and speak to you in a way that other’s just don’t, even though they may share exactly the same subject matter?
It’s more than likely that they were simply better composed.
Beginners often imagine that mastery of the technical features of their camera is crucial to taking better, more creative photographs, they ignore composition at the expense of getting the exposure absolutely perfect, but unfortunately that’s just not true.
A technically perfectly exposed photo, but so badly composed that it looks as though a tree is growing out of the subject’s head, will never look better than a badly exposed image but one which was perfectly composed, with emotional impact, in fact it’s often the imperfections in the exposure and focus that lend the final image that certain “je ne sais quoi”, and anyway, who is to say what a perfect exposure is?
Luckily for us, these rules of composition are not a product of dark sorcery, no one has to sell their soul to the Devil in a Faustian type pact to improve their photographic skills, anyone can acquire them, in fact they’ve been known about for thousands of years already, the ancient Greeks used them, as did the Italien Renaissance masters, right up to the modern Cubists and beyond.
They can be learnt in a process known as: practice.
And it doesn’t require expensive equipment to do it either, because the point of it all is to develop your photographer’s eye, and your creative mental skills, and you can do that just as well with a smart-phone.
Practice . . .
Here is a list of primers concerning the various rules of composition, they were written mainly to compliment Berlin Photography Meetup skills practice events, but the information contained within them is general, and not location specific.
Line One of the most effective ways to draw the viewer’s eye into an image is by use of line ...Read More
Three dimensions Why is form important? Because a photograph is actually just a 2 dimensional representation of a 3 dimensional ...Read More
Juxtaposition Balance is one of the more important rules of composition, one whereby elements are juxtaposed within a composition in ...Read More
The picture frame Framing is probably one of the easiest of compositional techniques in photography to master, it’s very easy ...Read More
Forward to the past. There was once a time, back in the far off days of analogue photography, during the ...Read More
Mirror image. Symmetry is the compositional tool most closely related to balance, but than rather just balancing different objects against ...Read More
Repeating. Pattern recognition is one of the most important survival skills we possess, it’s a cognitive process of the brain ...Read More
Odd numbers This rule is rather self explanatory, that having an odd number of subjects in a composition: 3,5,7 etc ...Read More
Greater depth Photographs are 2D by nature, and so by using strong elements in the foreground, it’s possible to lend ...Read More
Supersize it. One of the easiest methods that the budding photographer can use to instantly improve his or her photography ...Read More
Without contrast everything is the same . . . Understanding how to use contrast in your photographs will help you ...Read More
Constrast. “Figure to ground” sounds rather a technical term, but all it really means is the contrast between the “figure” ...Read More
Less is more. Keeping it simple doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be boring, and it’s often said that ...Read More
Rules? We don’t need no stinkin’ rules. Maybe not, particularly as rules, especially artistic rules, are there to be broken, ...Read More
Rough. Photographs are by definition flat and two dimensional, but with clever use of texture, capturing the play of light ...Read More