|The fewer the elements in a photo,
the stronger the statement the image makes
Note: Composition rules or guidelines are a helpful starting point, but they are useful only as long as they enhance the overall image.
As a quick review, here are a few basic composition pointers:
- Fill the frame Filling the frame helps establish the center of interest, and, simultaneously, it helps exclude competing background details. You can fill the frame by moving closer to the subject or by using a longer focal length (or zooming in).
- Organize elements In composition, the Rule of Thirds is often used to organize elements in a composition. This rule is derived from the Golden Section or Golden Rectangle that divides a space, such as a photographic frame, into equal segments to create pleasing proportions. In simple terms, if you apply the Rule of Thirds in photography you simply imagine a tick-tac-toe pattern on the viewfinder. Then, when you place the subject of the photo at one of the intersection points, the result is a pleasing sense of order.
- Control the background A non-distracting backgound is a compositional tool to help bring attention to the subject of the photo. You can control the background by moving your position or moving the subject to avoid background distractions and by using a wider aperture (smaller f-stop) to blur the background. It’s a good practice to review the entire scene and, when possible, eliminate or rearrange as many distracting background elements.
- Keep it simple The fewer the elements in a photo, the stronger the statement the image makes. Simplicity also helps prevent the viewer’s eye from being distracted.
To evaluate the composition of your images, try asking these questions:
- Is there a sense of order and balance in the image that helps lead the eye through the composition?
- Are elements included that do not contribute to the subject of the image?
- Are elements excluded that, if included, would have enhanced the subject of the image?
- Do the depth of field, focal length (lens or zoom setting), lighting, angle, and perspective enhance the composition?
- Does the crop enhance the composition?