The Coolest Photography Composition Tips

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Photography compositions can be difficult to master. This article has the coolest photography composition tips. Check it out!

The famous American landscape photographer Ansel Adams once said, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” All photographers go out of their ways to learn how to make the perfect compositions. It can be very baffling in the beginning.

This article has brought you some very legitimate photography composition tips to rely on.

What Is Photography Composition?

Before you head to learn how to do it, you must first have a proper understanding of what is photography composition.

In the most basic terms, Composition is the art of composing a photograph by framing. You may find tons of photography composition tips and definitions of the same over the internet. Despite that, you must understand that it is completely subjective.

  • Other art forms like painting start with a blank canvas. However, photography gives you a pre-existing canvas that you must edit to make it beautiful. You choose what is to be added to the canvas and what is to be eliminated.
  • You don’t always have the option of moving things in and out of the canvas. Sometimes you have to work with what is on the canvas. Choose the right angles and the right light.
  • You look at a scene through the viewfinder, find it aesthetic, and take a shot. You look at it later and realize that you’ve been gifted with a creative mind’s eye. When on some occasions you set it out, on others it just happens subconsciously. 

Your composition should help identify the object and the idea behind the photograph and not depreciate it. It’s apparent that you are more likely to take a photograph after you’ve found a suitable subject for your idea. However, if your photograph’s composition successfully brings the audience’s attention to other objects in the photograph, it has failed.

But again, oftentimes it can be intangible. You may click photographs of scenes that are pleasing to look at and not be able to tell why. And that is okay!

There are several components of a composition: patterns, texture, foreground, background, depth, lines, curves, frames, viewpoint, contrast, colors, negative space, filled space, visual tension, etc. You will never be able to have all of them in one photograph. Learn about each of them properly and you will know which one to use when.

8 Photography Composition Tips

When it comes to giving or taking photography composition tips, the first idea to have in mind is to not learn them as ‘rules’. These are just guidelines that help while you create your perfect composition.

1. The Rule Of Thirds

Almost everyone willing to give photography composition tips will tell you to follow the rule of thirds.

It is a very simple rule. You are supposed to divide the frame into 9 equal rectangles – 3 across and 3 down. Many new cameras have the feature of displaying this grid in the live view mode. Check if your camera has it too, and then use it.

Once you have the grid, look at your scene carefully and place the important objects or subjects along the lines or where the lines intersect. Ignore the natural tendency to place the subject in the middle of the photograph. Placing it off-center will more often than not give you a better-looking composition.

These lines are also to be used to level the horizon. A tilted horizon is generally a bad idea.

2. The Symmetry

This is the exact opposite of the previous tip. Sometimes placing the object in the center can be a good idea. It is really up to how you decide it to be. Completely symmetrical images are the best setting for a centered composition.

Architecture, roads, and scenes containing reflections are a great subject for a symmetrical composition.

3. Foreground Interest For 3D Effect

Photographs are invariably 2D in nature. Adding a foreground interest in the composition adds depth to your photograph. It is one of the easiest techniques to give the photograph a 3D effect.

This effect works well with wide-angle lenses.

4. Frame Within A Frame

This is another trick to add depth to your photograph. Look for natural frames like windows, arches, or overhanging branches. Be as creative as possible.

5. Shapes

One of the best photography composition tips is to incorporate both 2D and 3D shapes in your composition.

Straight, leading lines add stability to the subjects. Using these, you can direct your viewer’s attention towards the subject. These lines do not necessarily have to be straight. You can use a curved road to create the same effect.

Shapes like triangles and diagonals add dynamic tension to your photograph. Whilst lines represent stability, shapes represent instability.

6. Adding Patterns & Textures

It is a human tendency to be attracted to patterns. They’re visually pleasing and represent harmony. It may be a series of arches or the petals of a flower.

Unusual textures like those found on a road, or an ancient cloth, or maybe on a leaf also add an artistic touch to your composition.

7. Play With Space

You can do a lot with the free space apart from the one occupied by the subject.

You may either fill it with extra stuff like plants and other decoratives. You can also zoom in at the subject to fill the frame. It makes the photograph wholesome.

Another good idea is to leave plenty of negative space around the subject. It creates a sense of minimalism. It directs all of the audience’s attention towards the object.

8. The Color Scheme

Color scheme matters a great extent while making compositions. You must use colors that complement each other and combinations that can be visually striking.

Use a color wheel as a reference. In the wheel, the colors that are placed opposite to each other are considered as complementary to each other.

Break The Rules!

As mentioned earlier, photography has no hard and fast rules to be followed. Famous photographers while giving photography composition tips have said that if you follow rules, it kills the freshness of your vision.

Apart from imagination and creativity you also need the perfect camera for your future in photography. Check out this buyer guide for the best cameras.

Happy Shooting!

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Marco Downs

Marco Downs

Marco Downs is our second founder and he is the creative head of this website. Marco stumbled upon photography only in college when he joined the photography club. His parents could never afford a camera for him as a child and it was in college that he saved up and bought his first camera. He now writes in-depth buyer guides and informational articles to assist the buyers. 
Marco Downs

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