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Top 5 Photography Composition Rules That You Must Know Leave a comment

Doing something you love is always appreciated. But when you choose to do something you love with precision and professionalism; it adds colors and character to your work and makes it appear laudable and praiseworthy to the eyes of the world. Moreover, when you are satisfied with your work, it encourages you and motivates you to chase preeminence. Same goes for photography as well but it doesn’t have any stringent and binding rules that you have to follow. A little bit of hard work and passion can ensure your success. For this reason, we come up with these easy-to-follow rules that can make your photographs seem awe-inspiring, unique, and creative. So, let’s dig into the details of these promising rules.

Rule of Thirds


First up we have the rule of thirds. So, this rule refers to the process of dividing the photo into nine equally distributed rectangles. This can be easily done by 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines that intersect each other at 4 common points. This rule is about placing the main object(s) at any of the lines (going across or down the photo) or at the point where these lines intersect each other. This will make your picture appear stronger and more balanced in composition.  Some cameras also offer the option to superimpose the rule of third on LCD and viewfinder.

Fill the Frame


This rule is quite helpful in portrait photography. It is about eliminating distractions from the surroundings of the primary object. This can be done by just zooming the main object in the frame while taking the photo and by cropping the distractions while editing. This rule brings all the attention of the audience to the main object that may get out of focus due to the busy background. A photograph that is primarily taken by focusing on this rule, prioritizes the minor details of the primary subject such as expressions, body or dress details, skin texture in case if the subject is human. Focusing on such details and making them stick out by filling the frame, conveys the message you are trying to give this world through your photographs. 

Use of Negative Space


One of the powerful ways to improve the composition of photographs is by the use of negative space. The area around the primary object that is unoccupied is referred to as negative space. Leaving negative space in the photo amends the beauty as it has no distraction but the main object. The surroundings may have the symmetry or pattern that can exaggerate the number of object(s) being photographed.  This rule brings clarity to the frame and photo without taking the focus away from the object.

Depth of Field

Next up, we’ll be talking about the depth of the field. While taking a photo, the main object always stays in focus. The depth of field is the distance between the closest and farthest objects in a photo that appears considerably sharp while capturing a photograph, you have one focal point that is the area/object where your camera focuses. Depth of field would be the sharp areas in the photograph from front of our focal point to some point behind our focal point where the sharpness has started declining (fading). Moreover, the shallower depth of field can isolate the subject from its surroundings and background and thus make it appear more prominent.

Depth of field is normally controlled with the combination of aperture and shutter speed of the camera. For a scenery or a landscape where you want everything in the photograph to appear sharp, you should need a wider depth of field. Whereas for a portrait image where you’d like to isolate your subject from the surroundings, you should need a shallower depth of field.

Color Contrast


The last and final rule that you must consider is Color Contrasting. Colors are the real deal when it comes to photography. Contrasting the colors plays an important role in the composition of a photo as it helps in differentiating the main object from the background. You must keep in view the colors of surrounding and it is advisable to keep these colors in the frame to add more character to your picture. The main object should have to be dominant and for this reason, the color of the main object and color of the surroundings should contrast with each other. This rule can bring out the message you’d like to give through your picture. Other way around, you can also adjust the color contrast through editing. 

Final Thoughts

Practicing all the above-mentioned rules will assist you in every way to bring out the best output you can. The rule of thirds, depth of field, and color contrast are constant for every photo and other rules may vary depending upon the type of type main object and details of the main object. I hope that these rules will help you find a concrete vision of how your photographs are supposed to be. For more such content, stay tuned.

Article by Fatima Athar

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