BASIC RULES OF COMPOSITION IN PHOTOGRAPHY
1. RULE OF THIRDS
The major and simplest rule of composition is the rule of thirds, divides the frame with two vertical lines and two horizontal lines. The four intersecting vertices are the key points to remember, as studies have demonstrated that the human eye goes to those points first when looking at a framed object. Therefore, when you are composing the photograph, placing the key elements at one of those four points enhances the dynamics of your photo. Crop your photo so that the main subjects are located around one of the intersection points rather than in the center of the image.
Take this photo of the Rose as an example: rose is on the right third of the image and as a viewer; you naturally follow the subject within the frame. It also encourages you to make creative use of negative space, the empty areas around your subject.
Rule of Thirds Example: Landscapes
When taking a picture of a landscape, it’s natural to want to center the horizon in the frame. However, pictures often look better if the horizon falls on the upper or lower horizontal dividing line. If the focus of your image is on land (i.e. mountains, buildings), the horizon should fall near the upper third and if the focus is the sky (i.e. sunsets, sunrises), the horizon should fall near the lower third.
Rule of Thirds Example: Portraits
Here is the example of the rule of thirds portrait.
2. DIAGONAL RULE
Using diagonal lines can be a very effective way of drawing the eye of those viewing an image into it and to the main focal point.
The ‘lines’ need not be actual lines – they could be the shape of a path, a line of trees, a fence, river or any other feature in an image.
Converging lines (two or more lines coming from different parts of an image to a single point) can be all the more effective.
3. SYMMETRY & PATTERNS
Symmetry in photography is creating an image which can be divided in two (either horizontally or vertically) equal parts where both the parts of the image look same or at least similar. Either of the parts can be a mirror image of the other one. We are surrounded by symmetry and patterns, both natural and man-made. They can make for very eye-catching compositions, particularly when working with subjects such as architecture.
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