Photography Lesson: Basic Composition
Composition is one of the most important aspects of photography. It is the arrangement of elements within the frame that can make or break a photograph. It can be the difference between a good photo and a great photo. When it comes to composition, there are a few key concepts to keep in mind.
The Rule of Thirds is one of the most popular compositional guidelines. It suggests that the frame should be divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically and the subject of the photo should be placed along one of the lines or at one of the intersections. This creates more tension and energy in the photo.
Leading Lines are another compositional tool. They are used to draw the viewer's eye into the photo. They can be anything from roads, rivers, fences, or even shadows. Their purpose is to create a sense of movement and lead the eye towards the subject of the photo.
Framing is a compositional tool that can be used to draw the viewer's eye to the subject of the photo. This can be achieved by using elements in the scene to frame the subject. For example, a tree branch or a window can be used to act as a frame and draw the viewer's eye towards the main subject.
Simplicity can often be the key to creating a great photo. When it comes to composition, it is important to avoid clutter. Remove any distracting elements from the scene that take away from the main subject of the photo. Simplicity can also be created by using negative space. This is the area around the subject that helps to emphasize it.
Using color and contrast can also help to create a great composition. Color can be used to create depth and contrast can be used to draw the eye to the subject. Contrast can be created by using bright colors against dark colors or light colors against dark colors.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind the Rule of Odds. This suggests that an odd number of elements in the frame can create more interest than an even number of elements. This can be used to create a more visually appealing photo.
These are just a few of the basics of composition in photography. By keeping these concepts in mind, beginners can create great photos. With practice and experimentation, photographers can learn to create amazing compositions.
Mastering the Art of Composition with Ian Plant. Video by B&H.
9 Photo Composition Tips (feat. Steve McCurry)
We might start most of our lessons like this but this time we add extra strength to our voice when we say "this might be the most important photographic lesson you'll learn". While all of our lessons are important (from color theory, to basic composition and advanced techniques such as adding texture), this lesson on the basics of composition is arguably the foundation of all good photography. Without a solid understanding of the basic rules of composition your photographs may look unorganized, unappealing, accidental or simply to confusing for the eye to even consider looking at.
While it is not important to fit as many of the elements into one photograph as possible, it is important to know all of them exist. For example, the use of "lines" may not play a primary part in one of your photographs. Maybe your primary focus will be to focus on coherence and the line element will play a secondary role or possibly even no role at all.
Let's start by talking about the use of lines in your photography.