Photography composition, like any art composition, depends on individual preference. Nevertheless, there are some rules which may be a great help for any photographer. Having said that, rules are, in my opinion, something which you have to work with well, get comfortable with, and then try to go beyond (read: break them).
What I’d like to share here is not some textbook based rules of photography composition, instead I’d write how to get creative around the basic rules to get amazing photos.
- Rule of thirds is still important – when you want to play around the photography composition, the basic foundation you should be comfortable with is the rule of thirds. This is simply where the viewer’s eyes are looking at when they see your images.
- Get out of common angle – An image of flowers taken from the side is boring. Try to take it from a lower angle, and capture the blue sky along with the flowers. Not only the color combination is more attractive to the eyes, but also the impact of low angle strengthens the flowers.
- Simpler is stronger – keep your image simple. Simple images leave stronger impressions on the viewer. You may also consider that sometimes a background is not necessary. Filling the frame fully with the main object can be an alternative.
- Synergize – reduce and eliminate elements That don’t support to your main object in the image. Composition photography is all about choosing view angles that get rid of unnecessary objects and enhance your image.
- Check and recheck your composition – you have to be quite a detailed oriented person when dealing with photography composition. Minor details, many times subtle, can damage or reduce the message you want to deliver.
- Practice makes perfect – no matter how talented you are, the rule of thumb is that repetition is the mother of skills. Take as much photos as you can, learn from your experience to sharpen your instinct and improve your photography composition skill. The only way to get the ability to produce high class images is through hours and hours of practice. I do hope you really like taking photos, or otherwise this process will be painful.
- Learn from people’s experience – I do get inspired to explore the possibilities on photography composition by simply looking at people’s works. In my early days in photography, I only shoot pictures from the eye level perspective and put everything at the middle of the frame. Looking at people’s pictures online really helped me to gain ideas to tap into new paradigm of photography composition.
While photography composition has a lot of rules to it, it is still part of an art. There is no right or wrong in arts. The only burden you have is the limit that you set for yourself. Keep exploring the possibilities to improve your photography composition.
Good luck and have fun!