Ways to help improve photographic composition

1. What is a composition  

Composition is an aesthetic activity.  Life is full of beauty, a plant with dew grass, a young girl coming to you, a vast sea, when you see this beautiful scenery, you must want to use the camera to record them.  

So, before you shoot, have you carefully and seriously thought about how to shoot, so that people can know at a glance: Oh, he is shooting this, he wants to express this feeling, the process of thinking is composition.  

The purpose of composition is to express what is in your mind. What is in your mind is the theme. Every photo should have a theme first.  

Natural landscape

Composition is how to skillfully arrange the scene, people, and objects in the appropriate position in the photo, to fully express the course of the photo theme.  

Sometimes we need to position objects to get a better composition. This is called “posing”.  

Most of the time subjects can’t be placed randomly, which requires you to change the position and Angle to get a change in composition.  

2. What are the composition methods?  

(1) Symmetrical composition method  

This composition is suitable for symmetrical buildings, or objects of a particular style and reflected scenes.  This method is relatively simple, in the middle of the picture to make both sides symmetrical.  

(2) S-shaped composition  

This composition method is suitable for shooting winding and extended subjects, such as rivers, winding paths, and people.  This method of shooting is optimal when shot from above.  

maple leaf

(3) Guiding line composition method  

Guidelines are good for shooting a road, a whole row of trees, or a subject like a building.  This method of composition is to use the guideline to let the audience’s eyes to the far part of the picture, which is conducive to letting the audience directly and see the subject.  In life, roads, rivers, trees, lines, shadows, or any other object that contains lines can be used as a guideline.  

(4) Nine-grid composition  

This method can be used for tasks or other types of landscape shots.  In the shooting, letting the subject of the shooting appear at the intersection of any two lines in the nine grid, can play a prominent role in the subject.  

(5) Triangular composition  

This method is suitable for roofs, cable-stayed bridges, iron towers, group photos, etc.  This kind of composition is to place single or multiple subjects in the same triangle, and this kind of triangular composition method has relative stability.  

(6) Diagonal composition method  

Suitable for relatively “long” subjects or long shots.  When shooting, place the subject on the diagonal of the picture. This diagonal composition gives the picture more extension.  

(7) Contrast composition of light and shade  

This works for backlighting, silhouettes, or natural landscapes with sunlight and objects.  And this method needs to constantly adjust the focus, find a suitable point, and set the shape is ok.  

Natural landscape

3. Photographic composition skills  

Since patterns, lines, and symmetry surround us, it makes sense to use these features to help us create interesting compositions that result in great photos.  So, to help you create better pictures, here are some tips for photographic composition.  

(1) Use frames in the scene  

If there are natural frames like doors and windows in the picture, they can be used properly.  Choose the frame type foreground, can lead the audience’s line of sight to the scenery in the frame, highlight the subject, but also can create a depth feeling.  

Framing helps blend the subject image with the landscape, giving the photo a greater visual impact.  

(2) Pay attention to the contrast between the subject and the background to make the subject stand out more.  

Telephoto: Place the lens in telephoto mode with a small depth of field  

Enlarge aperture: a larger aperture reduces the depth of field.  

The clear subject suddenly becomes the focus of the picture, a technique most commonly used in portraits and life sketches.  

natural scenery

(3) Fill the picture  

This way is used more in portrait photography.  It is the use of close range, even close-up shooting so that the expression or details of the subject or the main body can be better presented.  

(4) Use empty space  

As mentioned above, fill up space, but this is the opposite. Leave some white space in the frame. It will also make your subject obvious and attractive, while still creating a minimalist look.  

(5) Minimalism  

It is often said that “less is more”.  Try to shoot with as few elements as possible, sometimes creating a more impressive visual effect.  Make good use of the negative space in the environment so that the audience can quickly focus on the subject.  

(6) Continuously repeated patterns or design elements  

Humans are naturally attracted by patterns. Patterns can be the shape of an arch, the pattern on the floor, or the relief on the wall. Taking these as the visual subject of the picture, combined with light and shadow, they can show a special texture.  


7. Change your perspective  

Many cameras now have flip screens, and DSLRs come with handy live view capabilities, which make it easy to take photos from unconventional angles.  Don’t always work at the level of the human eye. Try to lower or raise your gaze and shoot things from different angles to achieve unexpected results.  

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