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  • 8/12/2019 Top 10 Photography Composition Rules

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    11/04/13 9:29 AM10 Top Photography Composition Rules | Photography Mad

    Page 1 of 13http://www.photographymad.com/pages/view/10-top-photography-composition-rules

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    10 Top Photography Composition RulesThere are no fixed rules in photography, but there are guidelines which can often help you to enhance theimpact of your photos.

    It may sound clichd, but the only rule in photography is that there are no rules. However, there are arenumber of established composition guidelines which can be applied in almost any situation, to enhancethe impact of a scene.

    These guidelines will help you take more compelling photographs, lending them a natural balance,drawing attention to the important parts of the scene, or leading the viewer's eye through the image.

    Once y ou ar e familiar with these composition tips, you'll be surprised at just how universal most of themare. Yo u'll spot them everywhere, and you'll find it easy to see why some photos "work" while others feellike simple snapshots.

    R ule of Thirds

    Imagine that your image is divided into 9 equal segments by 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines. The rule of thirds says that you should position the most important elements in your scene along these lines, or at thepoints where they intersect.

    Doing so will add balance and interest to your photo. Some cameras even offer an option to superimpose

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    11/04/13 9:29 AM10 Top Photography Composition Rules | Photography Mad

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    a rule of thirds grid over the LCD screen, making it even easier to use.

    Notice how the building and horizon are aligned along rule-of-thirds lines. Image by Trey Ratcliff .

    Balancing ElementsPlacing your main subject off-centre, as with the rule of thirds, creates a more interesting photo, but it canleave a void in the scene which can make it feel empty. You should balance the "weight" of your subjectby including another object of lesser importance to fill the space.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/1928559400/
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    Here, the visual "weight" of the road sign is balanced by the building on the other side of the shot. Imageby Shannon Kokoska .

    Leading Lines

    When we look at a photo our eye is naturally drawn along lines. By thinking about how you place lines inyour composition, you can affect the way we view the image, pulling us into the picture, towards thesubject, or on a journey "through" the scene. There are many different types of line - straight, diagonal,curvy, zigzag, radial etc - and each can be used to enhance our photo's composition.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/shannonmary/118306328/
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    The road in this photo draws your eye through the scene. Image by Pierre Metivier .

    Symmetry and PatternsWe are surrounded by symmetry and patterns, both natural and man-made., They can make for very eye-catching compositions, particularly in situations where they are not expected. Another great way to usethem is to break the symmetry or pattern in some way, introducing tension and a focal point to the scene.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/feuilllu/227310839/in/photostream/
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    The symmetry of this chapel is broken by the bucket in the bottom right corner. Image by Fabio Montalto .

    ViewpointBefore photographing your subject, take time to think about where you will shoot it from. Our viewpointhas a massive impact on the composition of our photo, and as a result it can greatly affect the messagethat the shot conveys. Rather than just shooting from eye level, consider photographing from high above,down at ground level, from the side, from the back, from a long way away, from very close up, and so on.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11445691@N02/2828441697/
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    The unusual viewpoint chosen here creates an intriguing and slightly abstract photo. Image by ronsho .

    BackgroundHow many times have you taken what you thought would be a great