The experienced out there will understand that composition is generally subjective, however, by following a few rules of thumb each time you shoot, you will sure to shoot an image that is beautifully striking.
It is very important for the photographer behind the lens to use their creativity to develop an image that is stunning; anybody can take a picture of a tree, but a true photographer will make this tree completely unlike any other in the world. Sometimes the most normal of subjects can turn out to be most outstanding and using composition is a very clever way of making the ordinary become the extraordinary.
- The cardinal rule: Make your subject clear
When somebody looks at your image, they need to know exactly what your trying convey with the picture; the subject is the most important part of the compostion, bar none.
- Keep it simple
Don’t add background just for the sake of adding background; think it over before you snap away. Whilst the image should be interesting for the viewer, it shouldn’t be busy and confusing. Think of striking them straight away, rather them having to mull over the image to get the point.
- Don’t cut away key parts of the image
If you are wanting to crop an image, make sure you do it properly. For example, if you want to take away a foot, don’t leave one toe dangling in mid-air, get rid of the whole thing so the viewer knows that the foot is purposely not in the image.
- Don’t be negative: too much empty space is jarring
One of the most common composition mistakes committed by photographers is having the majority of the frame filled with dead space. Harp back to rule one: make your subject clear. It should take up a lot of the frame, move in closer or digitally zoom in, either way, the eye shouldn’t be attracted to the empty space more so than the subject.
- Middle of the road is boring
So many photographers place their subject slap bang in the middle of the image; whilst this is necessary and does work on some occasions, it tends to leave the resulting photograph a little bit lackluster and nothing that hasn’t been seen before. Move to the side, create an interesting angle, look at the subject from a different perspective. Let your creative side loose.
- What’s your point of view?
POV shots can be poweful; it allows the viewer to see the world exactly as you saw it in that very minute. Shoot up, shoot down, shoot all around, be diverse and allow people to see how your creative mind is working.
- Be a bright spark
Images that have a bright point in them will attract the eye of the viewer instantly; unless the bright part of the image is the subject, stray away from creating a photograph that could potentially have two focal points, with the main one not being the one you originally intended.
- Watch your eye level
Portraits should have an eye level that is above the centre line. Always.
- The Rule of Thirds
This is a fundamental rule that photographers learn almost instantly. The rule of thirds means creating an imaginary tic tac toe board over your photograph and then lining up your subject with the intersection points, creating a well balanced image that the viewer can interact with and be drawn to more effectively.