Creating Stunning Photos Using the Photography Rules of Composition

Improve Your Photos in 5 Easy Ways

You need to know the elements that make up your photo before we go to the rules of composition.(click to tweet) Remember these terms and what they stand for because it’s what you do with these elements that greatly affect the composition of your photographs. Also, you will be hearing more about these terms in future blog posts.

  • Frame

Framing is a technique used to emphasize and encapsulate the subject. Frames are typically made from physical objects such as windows and walls. Do know that you can use light in framing your subject.

  • Positive Space

The positive space in your photograph refers to your subject.

  • Negative Space

While the positive space is the subject, the negative space refers to the rest of the photograph.

To be a great photographer, you need to be a great observer of detail. You need to be able to identify the elements in your setting and use them effectively to produce the kind of effect you want for your photographs.

 Here are a few simple rules of photography composition:

1. Focus

A shallow depth of field allows you to focus on your subject and tone down the details of your negative space.

what is aperture for

Putting only a little emphasis on your negative space will allow your subject or your positive space to stand out.

when to use aperture

You don’t exactly need to set your aperture to smaller f-numbers to achieve this technique. Take this photo as an example. The large expanse of blue offers very little detail. Thus, a shallow depth of field is completely unnecessary. The body of water doesn’t clash with the subject. In fact, the negative space brings a rather soothing and compelling effect to the photograph.

Hence, when you are trying to compose your photographs, take a minute to observe your surroundings. Don’t just recall all these techniques. Find elements in your surroundings that can naturally enhance the quality of your photographs.

2. Visual Balance

Leading Lines are a standard rule in photography used for capturing an audience’s attention. By strategically positioning lines in your photograph, you can lead your audience’s eyes towards the subject.

how to capture balanced photographs

But more importantly, this brings balance to your photograph. As shown in the photo, the horizontal lines leading to the positive space is just as compelling as your subject. Your eyes, as well as your audiences’, will wander the breadth of your photograph. Your eyes won’t be focused on a single element – the person sitting at the far left corner.

3. Symmetry

Another way to achieve visual balance in photography is by making sure that the components of your photos are symmetrical.

The Golden Ratio is a mathematical equation for composing stunning art. For instance, if a rectangle’s width is 600 pixels, you need to multiply that with 1.618 to get the appropriate length of your rectangle.

So, 600 pixels by 970.8 pixels makes a Golden Rectangle. Through this Golden Ratio, you are able capture powerful images.

the golden ratio of art

If you aren’t too fond of numbers, you can always use the Golden Mean, or more commonly known as the rule of thirds.

the rule of thirds in photography

4. Patterns

Although a decent amount of negative space can set a dramatic and soothing tone to your photographs, it doesn’t mean that a number of patterns will do the opposite. Take a minute to observe your surroundings. You will realize that life is really just a series of patterns that are usually overlooked and undervalued.

patterns in photography

Through patterns, you are able to make audiences appreciate the little things in their lives that they usually take for granted. Maybe you can get people to care about the stacks of books in their shelves that are waiting to be read, or the rows of buildings in an urban city that still holds an abundance of history.

The ordinary features of everyday life, once photographed, can make bold and evocative statements. By capturing typically unnoticed patterns, you are able to convey a certain form of beauty that most people are unable to recognize. And that’s what people love about art – it teaches and entertains.

Patterns can be calming and poignant. Practice your photography skills if you want to capture stimulating images.

5. Color

Color greatly affects how audiences perceive your photographs. Like in any form of art, colors have their own language. Warm colors such as red and yellow can bring forth emotions such as passion and excitement, while cool colors such as blue and green induce a more calming and relaxing atmosphere.

the importance of color in photography

However, color in photography isn’t just about knowing the combinations, it’s also about knowing the right time of the day to capture those colors. Although you can’t really choose the colors that nature presents, you can manipulate its output with light. Images captured at various times of the day will produce different shades of color. Harsh mid-day light produces dull colors. But when the sun starts to set, you get darker and fuller shades. In addition, weather and seasonal changes affect color too.

Once you’ve got the basics down, you can concentrate on being a master of your desired niche. For those who enjoy Macro Photography, click here to learn what you need to be a pro at this field.

If you want to tell stories through photos, you need to learn how to compose your photographs. Practice. That’s all there is to it. Be familiar with the rules, and keep on practicing. Along the way, you will be accustomed to the rules and you will, eventually, learn to make your own.

P.S Once you’ve learned how to improve your photography skills and maybe developed your own style, you will want to make a career out of this. When that time comes, you should learn how to establish a successful photography business. With this guide, you can make your business flourish.


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