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Photography Compositional Techniques: A Guide for Beginners

Photography Compositional Techniques: A Guide for Beginners

Capturing photos became a usual activity for people of all ages. Most of us take pictures to cherish every moment we think must be kept and treasured. However, we do not just take photos normally. But instead, we make sure that our images are well taken. Therefore, we can share our photographs with the rest of the world.

Moreover, many believe that an expensive camera is the key to a great photo. However, considering this aspect, I can say it’s far from it. Many smartphones nowadays can produce excellent images like what a professional camera takes. To be honest, the camera does matter. But, how you take and construct the composition of your photo plays a massive part in producing high-quality images.

Here are some of the compositional techniques you should use to level up your photography skills: 


Photo from Joseph A. Villena Jr.

Many people overdo things while taking photos. Sometimes, they incorporate many subjects in one frame. Therefore, the result may look overcrowded or overdone. 

To avoid this, you need to keep your photo clear and simple. Rather than the frame becoming overcrowded, focus on just one thing at a time.

Rule of Thirds

Photo from Joseph A. Villena Jr.

One of the most widely used compositional principles is the Rule of Thirds. Your smartphone or camera has this feature, so make sure to enable this one. 

Basically, your scene will be divided into a 3×3 grid with rectangles of equal sizes. You must compose your subject on one-third of the frame by utilizing this. As a result, your image will be composed in a more dynamic and eye-pleasing way. Thus, this will increase the emphasis on your subject and its surroundings.

Leading Lines

Photo from Joseph A. Villena Jr.

Did you know that our eyes are naturally drawn to lines in photographs? If we see a photograph with lines, our eyes will react by following the lines in the photo. Amazing right?

By carefully employing leading lines in your composition, you can influence how the viewer experiences the picture by drawing them into the scene. Thus, this creates an illusion of inching the viewers closer to the subject or taking them into the scene.


Photo from Mark Lazatin.

Framing is the process of employing a scene’s components to build a frame inside your frame. You can produce eye-pleasing images by creatively utilizing your surroundings as part of your creative composition. 


Photo from The School of Photography.

In graphic designing, balance became a general rule to make your layout outstanding. This rule applies as well in photography. 

By achieving equilibrium in your image, you can ensure the symmetry of your photographs. A technique could be by dividing a scene in half, either vertically or horizontally. Consequently, make sure that both parts have a fairly similar structure.

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Photo from Jim Swallow.

Incorporating repeating patterns in your composition gives more impact to your photographs. This provides an illusion of exaggerating the number and sizes of your subject. You can utilize the repetition of lines, shapes, and objects or things.


Photo from Pinterest.

One of the most powerful compositional techniques is contrast. Typically, you can produce contrast by incorporating two or more apparent differences in a picture. You can accomplish this by various techniques, including the use of color and the inclusion of contrasting components. 

These are just some compositional techniques that can enhance your photography skills. These techniques can help you to better compose your images before clicking the shutter.

However, above all these techniques, the key to a great photo is you enjoy capturing the moment. There is no right or wrong way to compose a photograph as long as you’re deliberately enjoying trying to produce aesthetically beautiful images. 

Therefore, have fun, compose wisely, and click the shutter button creatively. 

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