Tips for picture composition

Image composition is about the way you arrange the elements that shape the image within the frame. Image composition is the really creative side of photography and it is great fun to learn these rules and then break them!

To improve your photos, follow these points and the video and then put the ideas into practice.

  1. look at your subject – what you decide to photograph is the first step to great pictures. Always look for interesting subjects that catch the eye – the more interesting the subject, the better the picture
  2. rule of thirds – position the subject off-center. For attractive images, place the key elements along imaginary lines that divide the image into vertical and horizontal thirds
  3. guide lines – natural lines such as paths, railway tracks, walls or fences can be used to draw the eye of the viewer into the picture. It is also nice if an interesting subject is in the direction of the vanishing point to put the emphasis on
  4. frame elements – place the subject in a natural frame, such as a house entrance Trees, branches or an arch can also be used to focus attention on your subject
  5. fill in the frame – show your subject in full frame when shooting animals and portraits. Either zoom in or move closer to your subject to remove dead space around your subject
  6. room for movement – moving objects are best captured with the environment in front of them. For example, if you take a picture of a moving car, place it in the picture so that there is free space in front of it in the direction of travel
  7. diagonal – diagonally crossing lines in the picture create a feeling of drama and movement. Typically, diagonal lines are common in wide-angle photography because of the wider angle of view. Also try to emphasize these lines by pointing the camera up or down
  8. change your perspective – increase interest in your images by changing the shooting position. Crouch down or put the camera on the ground for a low perspective; alternatively, hold your camera high in the air or look for a vantage point to look down from above
  9. textures, patterns and details – whether you’re shooting landscape, nature, architecture or the action: with closeness to textures and details you add another dimension to your images. Color contrasts, symmetries and patterns are practically everywhere – always keep an eye on them
  10. sense of scale – use your images to provide a sense of scale to emphasize your scene and provide a point of reference for the viewer. This can be particularly successful with landscape shots. People in the picture are ideal for this because they are immediately recognised by the viewer.

Try to find a subject and shoot it differently using the 10 points listed above. Then take 10 more pictures of the same motif and break the rules – for example, by positioning the motif in the middle of the picture section or by zooming out to make it smaller.

Don’t forget to take pictures in portrait and landscape mode and see what works best. You will soon see that there are endless possibilities to compose your pictures and discover how to take interesting photos with the composition techniques.

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