Rules of Composition

June 04, 2018  •  1 Comment

Outdoor PortraitOutdoor PortraitMount Gambier children portrait. Rules of composition 

While there are no real rules of Photography the rules of composition help viewers of your photography be lead into your images, and also make your images more interesting. While it is great to follow the rules it is also fine to break the rules! It does help to know the rules before you break them however!

 

1. RULE OF THIRDS

Imagine that the image is broken into 9 even squares, he aim is to place your subject into one of these thirds of the image. This image shows the subject on the left hand third of the image.

 

 

2. BALANCE

When you place your main subject off centre, it can make the image unbalanced, by adding a second less important subject you can balance the image. 

 

3. LEADING LINES

Use natural or man made lines to create interest in your images and to lead the image viewer into the image. Remember to use the lines to draw into the image and not lead the viewer out of the image.

4. SYMMETRY AND PATTERNS

Use interesting patterns and symmetry to make your images more interesting, using both natural and man made shapes and patterns.

5. VIEWPOINT 

Change the viewpoint from the usual. For example when shooting children get down low to be at their level, or from right above. Capture the unexpected to make the viewer think about the image. 

 6. FRAMING

Use natural and man made elements to frame your main subjects. Look for branches, trees, windows etc to frame your subjects.

Autumn Portrait, Mount Gambier PhotographerAutumn Portrait, Mount Gambier Photographer

 

7. CROPPING AND BACKGROUND

Simplify the image by getting in close and removing the cluttered background. Use simple things such as wooden walls, tin, brick or a solid background to reduce distractions and focus on your subject.

Blue Eyes, Mount Gambier Portrait Photographer.Blue Eyes, Mount Gambier Portrait Photographer.Mount Gambier portrait photographer.  

8. BREAK THE RULES AND HAVE FUN!!!

Give these a go, combine different rules, use none of them and remember that photography is art and if you like your images that is all that is important in the end!!

 

If you would like to learn about these rules of composition in person in a hands on environment, I teach 1:1 photography mentoring lessons where you learn all about the in and outs of your camera, the rules of composition, lightroom, photoshop or any other skills that you may wish to learn about. Please get in contact if this is something you are interested in!


Comments

Sandi(non-registered)
Thanks for the writing these rules in a clear and simple way that everyone can understand. Each of the rules are illustrated with beautiful photo examples well done. I find that some photography sites don't take beginners into account and many people just starting out find it confusing, you have put alot of thought into yours and I know beginners will be appreciative of this thankyou.
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