Composition. The arrangement of the elements within a photograph, and one of the most important parts of photography. Achieving great composition has no reliance on your equipment or technical skill level, and is something that everyone can learn and work on to improve their photos. You can be looking at the most epic view you’ve ever seen but if you don’t compose your photo effectively, it will be wasted.
1 – RULE OF THIRDS
Rule of thirds would be the most common guideline in photography when it comes to composing an image, and definitely what I would consider the best starting point. Look at the scene as if there is a 3×3 grid over it. Some cameras have an option to show this on the screen or through the viewfinder which can be really handy. Now you have your grid, place your main subject on intersecting lines, and your horizon on one of the two lines that run horizontally through the image. This will give you an aesthetically pleasing and balanced photograph. Once you’ve been shooting for a while this will come naturally and you’ll do it without thinking.
2 – FRAMING
Use natural or man-made frames to bring focus to your subject and create a sense of depth and perspective. You might use a tree branch, doorway, other people or buildings, but if you have a look around, you’ll begin to notice framing opportunities everywhere.
3 – LEADING LINES
Look for lines that direct your eye towards the main subject of the image, or the area of the photo that you want to focus on. It might be a road, fence, river, trees or bridge, but whatever it is, it will help you to create depth, dimension and direction in your image.4 – VIEWPOINT
Everyone sees the world from their height, but often it’s a lot more interesting if you get down low or up high. Try to capture the world from a different perspective and you’ll never end up with that typical tourist snap.5 – DIRECTION
Pay attention to the direction of the subject within the frame; if it’s facing to the right you will want it on the left of the photo to give the viewer an insight to what it is looking at or heading towards, and vice versa.6 – FILL THE FRAME
For those times when the background is either no good or way too distracting, just get right up close and personal or zoom in and fill the frame. This is where all rules can be broken, but also don’t have to be. It’s all about simplifying the image to bring focus to the subject.7 – SYMMETRY
Our brains love symmetry, we find it attractive and appealing, so it’s no surprise that symmetry in photos can be extremely powerful and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Keep your eyes open for symmetry and you’ll notice it all over the place. Make sure the vertical or horizontal lines are parallel to the edge of your photograph – there’s nothing worse than a wonky horizon line!Get out there, shoot and see what works for you. These few techniques are a great foundation for a killer photo, but, as the saying goes, rules are made to be broken, so make sure you experiment once you’ve mastered the basics.