Sunday, November 27, 2011

Composition Guidelines

Photography has no rules; you can capture images as you please. However, learning the rules of composition sets the standard for capturing beautiful and symmetrical photos.

Consider it as a guideline and once it’s been learned, the photographer could either combine the rules or break the rules to create great photos according to their taste. Once you learn the rules, the possibilities could be endless.

Rule of Thirds

The most common rule in composition, it is a guideline followed by most artists. The idea of this rule is to divide the image into nine equal parts by using two vertical and two horizontal lines. Positioning your subject or your most important element in your photo along these lines or at the point where the lines intersect. This creates a more pleasing and balanced composition.

Rule of thirds sample - Image: Atanu Ghosh /

Leading Lines

Leading lines are objects in a shape of a line, found in a photo that is used to lead the viewer’s eye to another element or the subject of the photograph or out of the photograph itself.

Leading lines sample - Image: Sura Nualpradid /


Contrary to the rule of thirds, this rule prefers the subject to be in the middle of the frame. The idea is to show symmetry in the image, creating an image where the left part of the image is symmetrical with the right portion.

Symmetry sample - Image: sippakorn /


Look for patterns or repetition in the scene; fill your frame with it. Make the pattern seem endless and the number overwhelming. You can either emphasize the pattern or break the pattern by looking for a scene with repetition but has a single object that is different. Use this as the breaking point of the pattern.

Patterns sample - Image: Idea go /


Shoot your photographs at different points of view. For example when photographing your pet or your kids; consider shooting the photo from high above, in a low angle at the ground level, up close, from the back, and so on. Use your imagination the possibilities are endless.

Viewpoint sample - Image: Dino De Luca /

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