There are no fixed rules in photography, but there are guidelines which can often help you to enhance the impact of your photos.
It may sound clichéd, but the only rule in photography is that there are no rules. However, there are are number of established composition guidelines which can be applied in almost any situation, to enhance the impact of a scene.
These guidelines will help you take more compelling photographs, lending them a natural balance, drawing attention to the important parts of the scene, or leading the viewer’s eye through the image.
Once you are familiar with these composition tips, you’ll be surprised at just how universal most of them are. You’ll spot them everywhere, and you’ll find it easy to see why some photos “work” while others feel like simple snapshots.
RULE OF THIRDS
Imagine that your image is divided into 9 equal segments by 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines. The rule of thirds says that you should position the most important elements in your scene along these lines, or at the points where they intersect.
Doing so will add balance and interest to your photo. Some cameras even offer an option to superimpose a rule of thirds grid over the LCD screen, making it even easier to use.
When we look at a photo our eye is naturally drawn along lines. By thinking about how you place lines in your composition, you can affect the way we view the image, pulling us into the picture, towards the subject, or on a journey “through” the scene. There are many different types of line – straight, diagonal, curvy, zigzag, radial etc – and each can be used to enhance our photo’s composition.
SYMMETRY AND PATTERNS
We are surrounded by symmetry and patterns, both natural and man-made., They can make for very eye-catching compositions, particularly in situations where they are not expected. Another great way to use them is to break the symmetry or pattern in some way, introducing tension and a focal point to the scene.
SYMMETRY refers to a line that splits an object in half and, if both sides of the object are an exact mirror image of each other, then this object is said to be symmetrical. The line that splits a symmetrical object is called the line of symmetry. Symmetry is a powerful tool that lets you automatically create harmony and a sense of aesthetically pleasing balance and proportion in a photograph. You probably remember learning about symmetry in geometry class, but I rarely see photographers apply it in their work. That’s too bad, because symmetry is a powerful photographic tool. Symmetry is all around us and has always been associated with beauty, so why not use it? Depending on how you are holding the camera and how much of a scene you choose to show, you can strengthen or weaken the symmetric properties of an object or scene. there are many types of symmetries
Photographers look for symmetry and shoot it on purpose but sometimes even they create symmetry unconsciously as well. Symmetry soothes the eyes and mind of the viewer. Symmetry requires an eye-catching point of interest and a powerful composition. Without these two elements, it cannot hold the viewer’s attention for long. Achieving symmetry in an unexpected scene can make very appealing photography subjects.
The world is full of objects which make perfect natural frames, such as trees, archways and holes. By placing these around the edge of the composition you help to isolate the main subject from the outside world. The result is a more focused image which draws your eye naturally to the main point of interest.
Opt for Simplicity
The concept of less is more lends itself effectively to just about everything, and photography is no exception. Overly complicated or complex photographic composition has the same problem as compound complicated sentences in writing, which make it difficult for the audience to understand and appreciate the idea that is trying to be conveyed. Simple in this context doesn’t mean simplistic, but rather lacking unnecessary elements that confuse or are redundant. In photography creating uncluttered, but distinct compositions simplify yet enhance the delivery of the idea. The mind’s eye of the viewer can do all the heavy lifting.
Photography Rules of Composition:
Here is the first of the photography rules of composition you need to have in your toolbox: simplify! You want to break the rules? Well, you need to master them first, so read on!
You’ve probably heard of the KISS principle. “Keep It Simple, Stupid!” It teaches us to strive for design simplicity, and avoid unnecessary complexity. In photography composition, that means that we don’t want to include any elements in our picture space that distract from our main message.
It’s very tempting sometimes, when we come upon a great scene, to try to includeeverything in the picture. That is a mistake. It ends up being a jumble of elements that make for “information overload” for the viewer. It’s up to you to figure out what attracted you to the scene in the first place, and simplify the image to emphasize that factor.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR PICTURE TAKING!