5 Simple tips to improve your composition of your photographs
Something that I am often asked about in my photography classes is something called the “eye” and far from it being a vague reference to lord of the rings for most photographers starting out it is a mystical skill that you are born with and if you don’t have it, you will never amount to much as a photographer. The “eye” refers to basic composition skills and far from being born with it most photographers have to develop it. How do you develop any skill? Simples, just practise it, and practise different types of it, so if you’re just starting out and looking to shake things up a tad, here are a few simple tips improve your photographs.
Move your subject off centre with the rule of thirds
A very simple way to get a bit more ummff in your photography is simply moving your subject out of the centre of your frame and more towards the edge, you can use a technique called the rule of thirds, this composition technique is the most commonly used techniques to bring balance to an off centre image. Envision your frame is divided into 9 equal parts by 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines. Then all you have to do is put the most important elements in your image along these lines, or at the points where they intersect.
How many images do you think are taken every day from a standing position? Millions? Perhaps even billions? Often when we see photographers they are on one knee taking a photograph? But why? By getting lower they are changing the perspective of the shot, and including foreground detail, this also changes the relationship between the sizes of things in the frame so that things that are closer to the lenses look bigger.
Fill your frame
perhaps one of the most important things you can do when composing an image is to fill your frame, get closer to your subject, one of the most common reasons a image will lack impact is because you there is not enough of the subject filling the frame, if there is to much going on in your shot your subject may become lost.
Don’t photograph every image in landscape format, turn your camera to the side to get a different shaped frame, this works great for well portraits, but also buildings, anything that’s taller than it is wider.
Lead in lines
Leads in lines are a great way to draw the viewer into your image. All you need do is to find two lines that run into the distance they can be parallel and never touch or can touch to form a nodal point in the image.
The most important rule is that you break the rules, move things around, break free of simply compositions, experiment, there’s no such thing as a photograph that is wrong, focus on textures, and form, find depth in your images, try photography the tiniest details when your composing. Just have fun.
Stewart Kenny is a photography trainer and guide with Dublin Photography School, Stewart teaches photography students of all levels in Dublin and surrounding counties as well as leading photography holidays in Ireland. To see more about his Photography courses in Dublin see here