Composition isn't complicated, and the skills are easy to learn with a few basic rules of thumb, you will soon start taking creative, imaginative and well composed photos.
The Building Blocks to Creative Photography
To see your Photography not just as picture, but as a series of lines and shapes will mean you well on your way to considering the composition, rather than just a snap shot. You can use line within and image, to guide the viewer to your focal point, or take them on a journey through the photograph.
Take this shot of a river and mountain for example. The river leads the viewer in from the bottom right to the centre of the picture then turns to point towards the mountain.
The line is picked up in the V-shape of the lower slope which points us out over the summit of the mountain to the top right hand corner.
There doesn’t have to be any physical lines in the image like roads or fences.They can be implied by the physical arrangement of elements within the scene.
The river draws you into the picture while the sunlight entering from the left and the trees and hillside softly illuminated helps to give the picture life.
Cover the river with your hand and the image loses all its impact
“USE LINES TO DIRECT THEVIEWER TO THE FOCALPOINT OF THE IMAGE OR LEAD THEIR EYE AROUND THE COMPOSITION.”
Understanding Line & Shape
Lines and shapes have a dramatic effect on your emotional response to photography. Vertical lines add power and impact to a composition while horizontal line an air of calm. Diagonal lines are dynamic and are particularly appropriate for action or moving shots
Lines and shapes have a dramatic effect on your emotional response to a picture.
Vertical lines add power and impact to a composition while horizontal line an air of calm.
Diagonal lines are dynamic and are particularly appropriate for action or moving shots
Epitomises the use of
Symmetry or Asymmetry?
A great way to train your eye is to always try and shoot images both symmetrically and asymmetrically then see which you prefer best.
Symmetrical images are those that that can be divided equally in half either length ways, across the centre, or even corner to corner, but whichever way you choose, they should always be balance
Asymmetrical images have no such line of divide.
It not always possible to shoot all subjects this way, but look around you and you will see plenty of creative opportunities.
Although this bridge isn’t exactly symmetrical you can still draw a line down the middle and still seems to balance on each half
Changing the camera to a landscape format and taking the same shot with a wider angle of view completely changes the feel of the image.
Horizontal or Vertical?
Shoot in both Portrait and Landscape
Format to maximise compositional possibilities
Photographing the same scene in both portrait and landscape formats will increase your chances of finding the best composition.
Deciding which format will suite a particular images may not always be that obvious.
So getting use to turning you camera from horizontal to vertical will help train your eye.
It’s all too easy to put you camera on the tripod and fire off a whole load of shots in the horizontal format.
But by taking shots in both portrait and landscape format you will sometime find some surprising images which work much better if one orientation than the other.
Deciding on a horizontal or vertical photography format could be a matter of a split second decision before the opportunity passes you by.
Being able to react instinctively could be the difference between a lost opportunity and a creative, prize winning image.
As a general rule tall subjects are made to be taking in portrait mode.
Here the pine trees look lovely with their green foliage topping the image, but surprisingly, the landscape image of the trunks looks equally good, even though it doesn’t follow the rules.