Whether you are taking photos with your mobile phone, point and shoot or your DSLR, composition is key to taking good photos. Composition is the placement of your subjects or other important visual elements within a frame. With good composition, you can totally transform your image. Not only does this produce a well balanced image but it also allows for great story telling (which is my favorite form of photography), as well.
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I discovered my love for photography soon after my oldest son was born. It took me a few years to really delve into the world of shooting manual but from the very beginning, I have tried to pay close attention to my composition. Over the years, I have learned a few very easy, basic tips that have truly transformed my photography.
4 Tips For Improving Your Photography With Great Composition:
1. The Rule Of Thirds:
The Rule of Thirds is one of the more well known rules of composition in photography. The principle behind this composition rule is to imagine your frame is broken into three separate equal parts (both horizontally and vertically), giving you 9 separate distinct parts as seen in the grid below.
With this grid in mind, you will want to place one of your primary points of interest along one of the vertical rule of third lines. If you are taking a photo of a person then you will want to make sure their eye falls within the vertical line. If you are taking a photo that includes the horizon, you will want the horizon to fall along one of the two horizontals lines. Following this simple rule can breathe life into your photos.
Subject is placed in the frame using the Rule of Thirds.
2. Don’t Chop Off Limbs At The Joints:
This is a big one for me. When framing up your shot, never ever chop off limbs at the joints. This can be distracting and makes for poor composition. Joints to avoid include hands, feet, knees and elbows. Avoid chopping off at the fingers, toes, ankles and wrists. If you avoid these things, it will greatly impact the composition of your photos.
3. Keep An Eye On The Horizon:
This one is one that I still have to be mindful of, especially when photographing my boys at the beach. When framing your shot, make sure that your subject’s head does not fall along the horizon. To avoid this, crouch down or stand just above your subject to ensure their head falls above or below the horizon.
Subject’s head falls below the horizon.
4. Leading Lines
Leading lines in a photo are used to lead your eye from one point of the image to another. They also add dimension and depth, adding interest to your photo.
Using leading lines can greatly impact your image, creating visual interest and drawing attention to your subject. You can find leading lines just about anywhere, although they may not initially be easy to spot. Through time and practice, you can train your eye and leading lines will start popping out everywhere.
Some examples of leading lines are rows of trees, streets, columns, pillars, bridges, fences, stairs, ladders and so on. The list goes on and on and the possibilities are endless. Using leading lines in your photos can truly transform your image.
Sidewalk is an example of leading lines, drawing your eyes to the subject.
There ya go! 4 tips for improving your photography through better composition.
How many of these composition tips do you use? Do you have a favorite method of composition that you tend to gravitate towards when taking photos?
Holly is a 42 year old wife and mom to 3 boys, from Nashville, Tennessee. She is a hot tea lover, book reader, journal keeper, Pinterest pinner, podcast listener, y’all sayer, self-taught graphic designer, hobbyist photographer, writer and dreamer of all things big and small. You can find all of her ramblings here at Blu Nest Bloom.