One of the beautiful things about photography is the scope it offers for creative freedom and emotional expression. So it may seem slightly constrictive to talk about the rules of composition. But knowing some simple composition principles can help make your images more pleasing to the eye.
Here we discuss how composition can help you order the way things are arranged in your images – and how using the rules can help you control them.
When away on holiday or a weekend break, you’ll naturally want to take great photos that show the places you’re visiting in the best way. So, rather than simply snapping away, take a slight pause before you press the shutter to think about what’s framed in your viewfinder or LCD screen.
A moment’s thought and a quick consideration of your frame will help you to see parts of the picture that are not necessary. A slight move of your camera or a change of your zoom will eliminate them from the frame to give you a stronger, more pleasing image.
The next time you’re holidaying in a town or city, keep an eye on the windows of the buildings around you. They’re a great aid to composition and can help you capture a unique view. The challenge is positioning yourself to maximise the reflection of the scene in the window with the composition of elements in the reflection.
Compose a scene to have three relevant subjects: one in the foreground, one in the middle and one in the background. The three objects will create a visual lead through the picture.
When capturing landscapes and cityscapes while you’re away, try to include strong compositional lines that will lead the viewer through the picture from the foreground to the background. Examples include paths, rivers, train lines or road markings. You'll need to position your camera in a suitable vantage point to capture the natural lines in a photo, and that may mean getting up high or down low to maximise the effect.