Composition – Beyond the Basics Tafe Southport Course Part 4

A Google search describes Composition as “the nature of something’s ingredients or constituents; the way in which a whole or mixture is made up.” Seems reasonable to me.

When it comes to photography there are a few known elements that will help you take a better photo. You will most likely already intuitively know them but hey, let’s lay some out for you here. 

Lines. Leading lines… Lines that lead your eye. They may lead you to the main point of interest. They may lead you into the distance, around a corner or … they will take your eyes on a trip. Using leading lines adds to the overall image bringing some 3d to the image.

Composition - Leading Lines

Composition – Leading Lines

Viewpoint. Try moving your camera to a different height. For kids, get down on your knees to their eye height, same for dogs and so on. Shoot whilst laying on the ground or stand on a ladder. (The ladder with a drone is crazy daisy use of viewpoint.)

Composition - Viewpoint

Composition – Viewpoint

The Rule of Thirds. The good ‘ol rule of thirds. Everyone loves to say “it’s not a rule but”. I am not going to be any different. Imagine you drew a naughts & crosses game on your viewfinder, that is the thirds lines. Two horizontal and two vertical, oddly on the 1/3 marks across and up / down. Now place the main point of interest on one of those intersections. This works particularly well for landscapes, when you have say 1/3rd the land and 2/3rds the sky. Assuming an interesting sky full of clouds or seagulls! You can of course put the horizon on the mid point but mostly this looks weird. Go with your gut.

Composition Rule of Thirds

Composition Rule of Thirds

Background.  Remember to look at what is behind your main point of interest. If there is a tree growing out of Grandpa’s head move, either you or Pop. Moving the tree is often more difficult. Look at the background and ask if it adds too or distracts from the photo.

Composition Backgrounds

Composition Backgrounds

Foreground. Take the eye on a journey starting with something integral to the photo in the front of the image, to the mid ground and then say rolling hills in the background. Serenity or a mess?

Composition Foregrounds

Composition Foregrounds

Framing. Consider using a frame in the image to border the image such as two buildings or pillions on a bridge or even a frame within a frame such as a mirror or an actual picture frame or… use your imagination.

Composition-Using-a-Frame

Composition-Using-a-Frame

Cropping. Cropping as in cut out stuff that doesn’t add to and in fact may distract from the image. Leave something to the imagination. I personally love cropping in hard and often I am told that I crop in too much. Tough. It’s my image.

I am sure that there are more.