Rules Of Composition

In this post I will be talking about the different rules of composition, that allow a photographer to create a beautiful photograph. Some are more widely used than others, but all are very good for their own reasons.

Rule Of Thirds
This is one of the more well-known compositional techniques that makes photos more interesting and dynmaique. The rule of thirds is based upon a theory that a picture is more interesting when broken up into regions. The rule of thirds works by using 4 imaginary lines that break a photo up into 9 pieces, 2 lines going vertical and 2 lines going horizontal. Rule Of Thirds works by aligning the focus point of the image, with one of the vertical lines, and capturing the background in the rest of the regions. This allows for a more straight forward, even photograph. Take for example this image below…Understanding-the-Rule-of-Thirds-Why-it-works-2

Leading Lines

In a photograph if there is some form of line like: a road, train track, path. naturally when a human looks at a photograph, their eyes are drawn to a leading line, that they follow down the image before looking at anything else. This is a really great tool for photography, because it allows a photographer to pull the attention of some one looking at the photograph down a leading line towards a focus point on the actually image. It’s as though you are taking the viewer on a journey down the leading line, to the subject of the photograph. Take for example this image below, not only is the road itself a leading line but the road markings as well, they lead you up the road to the focus point of the image the rising moon.


This composition rule is where in a photograph there is depth. As well as the focus point of the photograph there is a central point to the photo, and a background. Including all of these elements in a photograph, creates depth give the person looking at the photograph more to look at, take for example this image below, in this photo you have the sheep which are the key focus point of the image, then you have some hills central to the image, and then in the far background you have larger hills in the distance.



When taking a photograph some times the focus point of the photograph blends into the busy background, this can destroy the impact of the key focus point of the image. A camera is very good at flattening the image of the foreground and the background. When taking a photograph of something to create impact from the subject, it is good to use a blank background this restores all impact onto the subject you are taking a photograph of, take for example this photo below.

Balancing Elements

When taking a photograph, making the focus point of the image off-set from the centre creates a more interesting photograph, leaving empty space in the rest of the photo can sometimes make the photograph look off balance. It’s good to include other elements in the photograph that are of less importance in the background, this just makes the photograph seem fuller and gives the photograph more balance. Take for example the photograph below.


This is another great compositional technique that allows the person viewing the photo to instantly focus on the main subject of the photograph, just like leading lines makes a person follow the lines to the key focus point of the photograph. Framing is where when taking a photograph you use your surroundings where the subject of your photo may be, using the surroundings to frame the subject, making the subject of the photo stand out from the rest of the photograph. Take for example this photograph below. The use of the cave surrounding the castle, gives the focus point of the image the castle more impact.

Symmetry And Patterns

This can be found every where, we are surrounded my symmetry and patters both natural and some man-made. Symmetry and patterns create a very eye-catching and beautiful composition. Symmetry is where the other half of something is like a mirror image this creates impact in a photograph and catches the attention, where as patterns create visual rhythm in a photograph. Take for example this photograph below.

This compositional technique is where in a photograph the background creates too much noise upon the focus point of the photograph, making it blend in and giving it a very dull affect killing the impact of the subject, cropping allows a photographer to focus in on the subject of the photo, and eliminating the background of the photograph making the subject the main focus point for the viewer of the photo. Take for example this photograph below.

View Point

Most photographs are taken from eye level, changing the angle of a photograph like taking the same photo but from above or below, changes the message of the photograph. And creates a greater impact of the photograph, this is a really good compositional technique because it transforms the photograph into something completely different. Take for example this photograph below.

The Golden Triangle Rule

Like the rule of thirds, the golden triangle consists of imaginary lines one going from the bottom left hand corner of a photograph to the top right hand corner, then two other lines that connect to the central line, one from top left hand corner the other from the bottom right hand corner creating two large triangle shapes and two smaller triangle shapes, it looks like this.
thegoldentriangle-ruleAll you have to do when using the golden triangle is make sure you fill one triangle with a subject in your photo, and then allowing the central line to align up with another form of subject in your photograph, this creates a very neat and tidy photograph . Below is an image of the golden triangle being used.


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