A Brief View Of Photographic Composition

What's the secret to great compositions in images? It starts with knowing the 'rules', sticking to the major ones, and then throwing them out in favor of your own style! 

I came across the video the other day and thought it may be helpful for those of you just getting started with photography. The images it uses to demonstrate the principles are nothing too special within themselves, but I do think he gives a few good pointers that can help everyone. 

What's the secret to great compositions in images? It starts with knowing the 'rules', sticking to the major ones, and then throwing them out in favor of your own style! 

A few of the major takeaways from this video are:

-What's your intended Point of Interest? If you don't, how can your viewers?

-Keep in mind the 'Rule of Thirds', but don't treat it as gospel. 

-Framing generally helps direct the eye where you want it, and can come in a nearly endless variety of flavors and techniques. 

-Keep an eye on the Eye Line of your subjects. 

-'The Eyes Have It' Focus on the eyes is perhaps one of the 'unbreakable' rules of photography.

-Every Element in an image should be there because you want it there

-Busy or distracting backgrounds will kill your images every time. 

-Bright colors and overexposed areas draw the eye directly in, whether that's where you want them to be or not. 

-Lead the viewer's eye into your images

-Leave room for the subject to move or 'be', without feeling too boxed in. 

-Our eyes and cameras see things differently. Learn how and why and use it to your advantage. 

-Great photographs not only record what you saw, but communicate it to others, without needing words or language. 

Photo Tip #833 Reflections

Yangon, Myanmar 2010

Always keep an eye open for reflections, not only in mirrors, but glass and water can also help provide some interesting elements to your images. Reflections can add depth to your images and transform basic or boring images into something more artistic and beautiful. Reflections can also show us a bit of what's hidden in the capture of the scene. Above, though we can't see the monk sitting there, we know he's there by using the small mirror on his bed to add him into the scene. Below, the reflection in the muddy water gives us the elements of the cows and the man standing, waiting to start the race, without shooting them so directly or literally. 

Reflections are everywhere, so keep an eye out for them while you're shooting, and you should be able to come back with some beautiful, interesting images! 

Chau Doc, Vietnam 2010