7 min read

10 PHOTOGRAPHY COMPOSITION TECHNIQUES

The composition is defined as the arrangement of all visual elements inside the frame. Image composition has the power to grab our attention, focus it, and create meaning.

The point of Interest or center of interest is the predominant feature in the image, the feature to which the eye is first attracted.

When you create a photo look for a predominant feature to be your point of interest, this could be a person, a bird, a tree, or maybe the sun or something as wide as a mountain range.

To highlight your center of interest in a beautiful and harmonious way there are some photography techniques that can help you. So here we are going to take a look at some of them.

1. The Rule of Thirds

State that images look nice when they’re divided into threes. Like an imaginary tic-tac-toe grid overlaying your image.
The “third position” is the intersection of these lines. There are four third positions.
Always place the point of interest in the intersections or along the lines, and your image will be more pleasing to look at.
Also, keep in mind that horizons look better positioned down or up in the frame, either one or two thirds down the frame looks great.

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Rule of Thirds

2. Leading lines

The viewer’s eyes are naturally attracted to lines that lead directly to the main subject/object in the image, or to the background.
Usually, they start from the foreground of the image leading the eye to the background, or the main subject.
If you want to draw attention to a certain point if the frame, look for lines that already exist and use them to your advantage.

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Leading Lines

3. Diagonals

Like leading lines, diagonals lead your viewer’s eye, but instead of them being lead into your image, they lead across the frame.
Diagonals give images depth by suggesting perspective, they also add a dynamic look into the composition.

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Diagonals

4. Size

When you get really close to the object or subject it starts to fill the whole frame and it will be the first thing your viewer will look at, the eye will identify it as the more important object in the frame.

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Size

5. Framing

It refers to using elements of a scene to create a frame inside your frame. This draws the eye into the photo and highlights the subject.
Doorways or windows are a simple way to incorporate a frame into your photo. You can also use natural frames, like foliage, trees, or blossoms, but you can get creative too!

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Framing

6. Symmetry

Symmetry automatically creates harmony and a sense of pleasing balance in a photo.
Humans are drawn to visual perfection and that’s why symmetrical photos are attractive to the eye.
Now, you can use the symmetry as your main subject, or you can break the symmetry with your main subject.

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Symmetry

7. Contrast

Contrast means difference, in photography, this can be achieved by changes in the tones (light) or colors that compose the image.
To highlight the center of interest using contrast, just place your main subject against the predominant color or tone of the photo.

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Contrast

8. Focus

An image or part of it, completely sharp is said to be in focus, to the contrary, a blurry image or part of it is said to be out of focus.
The human eye will always be drawn to the part of the image that is in focus so you can use this as a tool to set your main subject in focus while the background is out of focus.

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Focus

9. Patterns and repetition

Patterns are basically repeated shapes, objects or colors either ordered in specific formation or just random designs spread across a scene.
Humans are naturally attracted to patterns, so using repetition will immediately attract your viewer to your photo. Again here, you can either use patterns as the main subject, or you can break the pattern with your main subject.

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Patterns and repetition

10. Texture

It refers to the visual quality of the surface of an object, revealed through diversity in shape, tone, and color depth.
Is what gives an image vibrancy and life.
Texture photography isn’t the same as pattern photography, while pattern photography is more about creating abstract artistic work, textures are meant to bring out life and character in regular shots.

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Texture

Note: I took all these pictures in one day, in the park I go roller skating every week, so if you really start to look around, you’ll be surprised how often you’ll find all these elements in daily life.

If you want to know how to start using the settings in your DSLR camera, check my post “Get to know your camera”.

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