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Photography Tips & Tricks
Composition

There are no right and wrong rules to composition, as it is largely a matter of personal taste. There are common guidelines that many photographers follow but it all comes down to the basic organization of a photo: does it make sense or is it confusing? is the photo well balanced and does it have meaning to you? These are general questions that help guide the novice photographer in composing their shots through the viewfinder.

Consider some of these guidelines when composing your photos:
  • Be aware of your use of positive and negative space, general balance
  • Reduce clutter to focus on the form of your subject
  • Be aware of details and texture
  • Notice colours, hues, and general temperature
  • Follow patterns and lines to lead to eye to a point/subject of focus
  • Watch the contrasts of shadow and light and how it interacts with atmosphere
  • Check your perspective and vantage points
  • Be mindful of your framing and cropping options
  • Rule of Thirds: Making main points of interest at each grid point (imagine your image divided into 3 proportions both vertically and horizontally)
These are general guidelines that can help point the photographer in the right direction when it comes to the composition of an image. It is most important for the artist to be aware of the many possibilities any given scene can present, just based on the tips and ideas above. By simply changing your angle or light source, an entirely new image is created with an entirely new message and tone. The possibilities here are endless!

More excellent tips and articles on composition can be found at the following sites:

Composition and the Elements of Visual Design - Robert Berdan
Digital Photography School
Microsoft Digital Photography
Previous Tips & Tricks
Crop & Framing