Photography Composition Rules

Composition (visual arts)
Design Elements:
  • Line
  • Shape
  • Color
  • Texture
  • Tone
  • Form
  • Space
  • Depth
Principles of Organization Affecting Composition:
  • Shape and proportion
  • Positioning/Orientation/Balance/Harmony among the elements
  • The area within the field of view used for the picture (“cropping”)
  • The path or direction followed by the viewer’s eye when they observe the image.
  • Negative space
  • Color
  • Contrast: the value, or degree of lightness and darkness, used within the picture.
  • Geometry: for example, use of the golden mean
  • Lines
  • Rhythm
  • Illumination or lighting
  • Repetition (Sometimes building into pattern; rhythm also comes into play, as does geometry)
  • Perspective
  • Breaking the rules can create tension or unease, yet it can add interest to the picture if used carefully
Compositional Techniques:
  • Rule of thirds
  • Rule of odds
  • Rule of space
  • Simplification
  • Limiting focus
  • Geometry and symmetry
  • Creating movement
Other Techniques:
  • There should be a center of interest or focus in the work, to prevent it becoming a pattern in itself;
  • The direction followed by the viewer’s eye should lead the viewer’s gaze around all elements in the work before leading out of the picture;
  • The subject should not be facing out of the image;
  • Exact bisections of the picture space should be avoided;
  • Small, high contrast, elements have as much impact as larger, duller elements;
  • The prominent subject should be off-center, unless a symmetrical or formal composition is desired, and can be balanced by smaller satellite elements
  • the horizon line should not divide the art work in two equal parts but be positioned to emphasize either the sky or ground; showing more sky if painting is of clouds, sun rise/set, and more ground if a landscape
  • These principles can be means of a good composition yet they cannot be applied separately but should act together to form a good composition.
  • Also, in your work no spaces between the objects should be the same. They should vary in shape and size. That creates a much more interesting image.
18 Composition Rules For Photos That Shine
  1. The rule of thirds
  2. The Golden Ratio
  3. Golden triangles and spirals
  4. Rule of Odds
  5. Leaving Space
  6. Fill the Frame
  7. Simplification
  8. Balance
  9. Lines
  10. Patterns
  11. Color
  12. Texture
  13. Symmetry
  14. Viewpoint
  15. Background
  16. Depth
  17. Framing
  18. Orientation
10 rules of photo composition (and why they work)
  1. Simplify the scene
  2. Fill the frame
  3. Aspect ratio
  4. Avoid the middle
  5. Leading lines
  6. Use diagonals
  7. Space to move
  8. Backgrounds
  9. Creative with colours
  10. Breaking the rules
10 Top Photography Composition Rules
  1. Rule of Thirds
  2. Balancing Elements
  3. Leading Lines
  4. Symmetry and Patterns
  5. Viewpoint
  6. Background
  7. Depth
  8. Framing
  9. Cropping
  10. Experimentation
Digital Photography Composition Tips
  • The Rule of Thirds
  • Working the Lines in Your Photography (how to use horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines)
  • Finding Fresh Angles to Shoot From
  • Photographing Children – Composition
  • Getting Horizons Horizontal
  • Getting Images Straight
  • Fill Your Frame
  • The Importance of Focal Points
  • Creating Active Space – Photographing Moving Subjects
  • Getting Backgrounds Right
  • Framing Your Shots
  • How to Use Converging Lines to Enhance Your Photography
  • 4 Rules of Composition for Landscape Photography
  • How to Break the ‘Rules’ of Photography
5 Easy Composition Guidelines
  1. The Rule of Thirds
  2. Where to place the horizon line
  3. Lean Into the Frame
  4. Leading lines
  5. Patterns & Textures
  6. Look Carefully
9 Top Photography Composition Rules You Need To Know
  1. Fill The Frame / Cropping
  2. Don’t Cut Off Limbs
  3. Understand The Rule Of Thirds
  4. Use Frames
  5. Make The Most Of Lead In Lines / Shapes
  6. Simplify – Know Your Focus
  7. Watch The Background
  8. Look For Symmetry/Patterns
  9. Create Depth