10 composition tips with examples for better photos

10 composition tips with examples for better photos

Becoming good in photography is easy! You just need to follow (or brake) some rules and practice. But practice is really the hard part. You will need a lot of practice to become good. Get out and take pictures whenever you can. Challenge yourself and try new techniques. Get professional opinion about your photos – having a professional review and comment on your portfolio is the best way to get honest and real feedback.

So, about the rules to follow – composition is the cornerstone of a good photo. Master the composition and you are 75% there! Here are a few composition tips that will help you get better photos.

1. Remember the rule of thirds

The human eye is generally drawn to a point one third of the way from the top, bottom, right or left of any image. Keep this in mind as you work on your composition. Read more about the Rule of Thirds here.

2. Negative space is your friend

Put simply, negative space is the area which surrounds the main subject in your photo (the main subject is known as the “positive space”). Don’t be afraid to include negative space in your photos. It is just as important as your subject. Here is an example.

Negative space

3. Embrace Geometry

Train your eyes to look for lines, patterns, shapes. They will give structure / balance to your picture and will help highlight the three dimensional quality of your subjects.

embrace geometry

4. Frame within frame

Used effectively, foreground framing directs the viewer’s eye right to the subject of the photo. Look for frames of different shapes and sizes, they don’t always have to be windows or doors. They could be big trees, bridges, buildings even people. Here are few examples.

5. Avoid putting the horizon in the middle

don't put horizon in the middle

6. Use natural lines to lead the eye into the picture. This is a big one! Natural lines will help your viewers to explore the images easier and help them feel immersed. Here are few examples.

Leading lines help viewers explore the photo

Leading lines help viewers explore the photo

7. Diagonal lines used correctly are great way to balance your photos.

Diagonal lines done right

8. Contrast between subject and ground / background. Contrast in photographic composition is an effective way of directing the viewer’s eye to the centre of interest of the photo. Positioning of the subject to create contrast gives them added emphasis and directs the viewer’s attention.

Contrast in photographs

9. Patterns are aesthetically pleasing. Filling the frame with a patters looks interesting and immersive. Here is an example.

Patterns filling the frame are a great way to immerse your viewers

10. Symmetry is pleasing to the eye. The rule of thirds is teaching us that we should not put our main subject in the centre of the photo. But as we all know, rules are meant to be broken, so if you are going to break that one, here is how you do it:

Symmetry looks pleasing to the eye

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All photos are © Ivo Popov



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