Composition plays a vital role in photography and learning. It can help you improve your photo results. Although you shouldn’t focus too much on perfecting the composition, you still have to know the basic rule of photography composition when capturing photos.
In photography, there are three main ingredients that need to be considered: the subject, the light, and the composition. And of course, we can’t forget about storytelling in photography which is very important.
Following are some tips that will help you understand how to compose a photo well.
The Rule of Thirds
This rule states that dividing your frame into three equal parts by imagining two horizontal and vertical lines will create nine smaller rectangles within your frame. This way, it becomes easy for you to decide where to place your main subjects depending on their importance in your scene or photo story.
Placing them on one of those intersections or along those lines will make your picture more interesting than just centering them inside an image framed with four even borders all around. That said, it doesn’t mean your photos will automatically become great if you use this rule all the time. But you can always learn from a training video about this tip to improve your photo result.
The Golden Ratio
Also known as the Fibonacci Spiral is another popular tip in photography composition that shows us where to place our subject when taking a picture. With the ratio of 1:1.618 being applied to your frame, placing your subject along or near those imaginary lines can make them look attractive and more pleasant for the eye.
Similar to compositional guidelines, there are no hard rules stating that you should always follow these tips to improve your photos. They are just simple ways of seeing how you can enhance the pictorial side of your shot.
Still, it’s good to know what makes a composition look nice or not, especially when it comes to taking pictures of people.
When shooting portraits, for example, placing your subject in the middle of an image might end up making them look heavy on it and distract the viewers’ attention away from their face, which is considered one most essential elements in portrait photography.
But turning off the flash when doing so will most likely create underexposed images unless you use high shutter speed or ISO settings, resulting in increased noise on your picture.
The Rule of Odds
When it comes to shooting images of people, including an odd number of subjects can also help you achieve better results. Such as including just three people instead of five, for example.
But there are no hard rules when it comes to photography composition. Making your guidelines up is alright, which is why lots of photographers like to think outside the box and keep on experimenting with different ways of composing their shots until they find out what works best for them.
Following these simple tips will make you realize that there isn’t only one way to compose a photo well, even if using the rule of thirds or golden ratio might be considered standard guidelines in photography composition nowadays.
Frame within the Frame
Another interesting tip that can help you make your pictures more attractive is by including a frame within the frame. Such shooting through a window will make your subject more visible and clear to people looking at it from outside of the room or area where you took the picture.
It’s also an easy way of creating depth even if you didn’t use any of those wide-angle lenses, which give a great result on their own when set wide open.
Placing a mirror facing your main subject might also lead to some nice reflections that can improve certain types of images just as well. By doing so, it creates an illusion that makes people look twice at what they see, almost as if another person were standing next to them, making an interesting picture even more interesting than it was before.
The Rule of Space
Including a bit of space between your subject and its main surroundings can also make a big difference in creating depth. Such including a subject against a wall set further away from the camera will make it seem smaller compared to when you included your main subject right up next to the wall, for example.
Placing people inside windows is also a great way of including space in your photographs, so they don’t feel overwhelmed by whatever is surrounding them. And if done properly, these shots can look attractive in their way, which is why taking this type of picture might be worth exploring in order to find out how they can best fit in with different types of images.
There are plenty of other tips when it comes to composition, but the ones mentioned above are just some examples that happen to work out pretty well with certain types of images.
They are not meant as guidelines to always follow in order to make your pictures “perfect” but rather something that you might want to experiment with if looking for different ways of creating depth, space, or even framing your main subject.
Did you like this article? Did it help you get some new ideas when it comes to composing your images? If so, feel free to let us know what sort of guidelines and tips helped you the most when shooting people in particular!
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).