Photo Composition Tips & Tutorials

What is photo composition?

This question is often taken for granted by many newbie and amateur photographers because the focus is mostly on things like using the right camera, lighting, and camera settings.

Understanding the value of composition is important if you want to come up with visually appealing and thought provoking photos. As such, we’ve decided to focus on composition and how it is used in photography, why it is important, as well as how a photographer can come up with a beautifully composed photo.

Photo Composition: Tutorials and Tips

4:3 vs 16:9 Aspect Ratio – What’s the Difference?

If you’re a photographer or videographer, you probably asked yourself at least once which aspect ratio you should use: 4:3 vs 16:9. Aspect ratios affect how your video or photo looks, which can impact your final result. That’s because you can use them for different purposes and mediums: some are better for still images and others for videos. So let’s settle this 16:9 vs 4:3 aspect ratio debate once and for all! What is an aspect ratio?…

Defining Composition in Photography & How to Learn It

Today, I will attempt to define composition in photography and the most effective way to learn and master it. Have you ever wondered what transforms a photograph into a work of art? There are different aspects of a photograph, but unarguably, the composition allows the photographer to make a statement with his image. To me, composition is one of the most difficult aspects of photography, as it cannot simply be taught. Learning the perfect way to compose…

Leading Lines in Photography – How to Use, Examples, Ideas

If you’re looking to capture gorgeous landscape photos–or gorgeous photos of any kind, really–you have to understand leading lines in photography. You see, leading lines are a fundamental element of photographic composition. Landscape photographers, travel photographers, street photographers, and more use leading lines to great effect. So if you’re looking to improve your own photos… …you, too, must master leading lines. Fortunately, it’s not that hard. Leading lines may be important, but they’re also very simple. Which…

Foreground, Middleground and Background in Landscape Photography Composition

In landscape photography, the foreground, middleground and background play important roles in creating a well-rounded composition. The foreground adds depth and dimension to a photo, while the middleground and background provide a sense of scale and place. By carefully considering all three elements, photographers can create visually appealing and informative images. Although photography is a two-dimensional art, to call an image “flat” is not exactly a compliment. Indeed, a good photograph, especially a landscape, should create the…

Golden Ratio in Photography

If you want to learn everything about the golden ratio in photography, you’ve come to the right place. Imagine you’re standing at the edge of a rock. There’s an incredible scene under your feet. Even the light is perfect. Yet, you look through the viewfinder and feel lost. How can you capture it? In a situation like this, the characteristics of your camera alone won’t get you a good photograph. You need something to limit your choices and…

How to Use Symmetry in Photography Composition

Symmetry in photography occurs when an image features a line (or point) of reflection. Discover how you can use symmetry for amazing results – including the key types of symmetry (vertical, horizontal, and radial), as well as tips for symmetry in landscape photography.

How to Use Diagonal Lines in Photography Composition

Diagonal lines in photography are a great way to improve your photos through depth, tension, and dynamism. But how can you use diagonals for the best results? And what are some common diagonal examples? Find out more in this tip-focused article!

What is Shape and Form in Photography Composition?

Form in photography is a powerful tool – one that can make your photos stand out. But how can you master form? And how does form differ from shape? Discover instruction, tips, and tricks for working with form in photography! You’ll never struggle to create form again.

12 Rules of Composition in Photography (Landscapes & Travel)

By discovering the rules of composition, you can take your landscape photos to the next level. Learn about the rule of thirds, the value of simplification, the importance of layering, the golden ratio, and much more. You’ll never struggle to compose beautiful landscape photos ever again!

Perspective in Photography (7 Actionable Tips)

Perspective in photography may seem like a technical topic, but don’t be fooled; you can use perspective to enhance pretty much any composition. You see, perspective is what allows you to convey depth in your images–so through careful use of perspective, you can create compelling photos that draw the viewer straight into the scene (and never let them leave!). And in this article, I’m going to share with you everything you need to know about perspective, including…

What Are the Elements and Principles of Photography?

Understanding the elements of photography is a fundamental part of creating great photos. By learning how to work with line, shape, form, balance, contrast, and more, you’ll quickly take your images to the next level. Discover how to apply the elements and principles of photography for stunning results.

Lines in Photography Composition: 7 Types With Examples

Lines in photography are a powerful tool. But how can you use lines for stunning compositions? And what types of lines are available to photographers? Discover everything you need to know about using lines; that way, you can use lines for great results in your own photos!

Repetition in Photography Composition (Pattern & Rhythm)

Repetition in photography is the repeating of compositional elements. You can use repetition to create patterns and patterns to create rhythm – which makes for gorgeous compositions that will deeply engage the viewer. If you’re looking to understand repetition, patterns, or rhythm, then you’ve come to the right place!

Aspect Ratio in Photography as Part of Composition

Photography is full of odd terms, and aspect ratio is one of them. What is the aspect ratio? In simple terms, aspect ratio in photography refers to the relationship between the height of an image and the width. The understanding aspect ratio will help you decide which format is best for your next photo project. If you’re just starting out with photography, you probably haven’t even come across this important term unless you’re thinking about making prints….

Rule of Thirds in Photography Explained (Examples + Visuals)

The rule of thirds advises photographers to position key elements a third of the way into the frame. By following this “rule,” you can create stunning photos with minimal effort. In this article, I’ll show you how to achieve beautiful, dynamic compositions, no matter your skill level!

The Composition Checklist for Landscapes

If you’re serious about photography, then you surely know what you need to make outstanding images. And no, I’m not talking about your camera. As I’ve stressed before, understanding composition is the key to powerful photographs which convey meaning and emotion. However, I do realize composition could be overwhelming at the start. All this talk about rule of thirds, depth of field, cropping, framing the object… how is one supposed to remember everything? Well, I can’t really…

Creating Depth in Landscape Photography: 5-Step Method

Today’s article is by contributing author, photographer and educator Andrew Gibson from the UK. The article is dedicated to the process of creating depth in landscape photography. Andrew is the author of over 20 photography books with my favorite being Mastering Composition. I also highly recommend to download his free eBooks here. Today, he’ll share with us how to improve the composition in landscape photographs by addressing depth.  Take it away, Andrew! Would you like to create…

Photo Composition and Its Meanings

The word composition can mean a lot of things. In writing, it pertains to a short essay or a literary work. Composition can also refer to the structure of something. In music, a composition pertains to a musical piece created by an artist or composer. In art (as in photography), it pertains to the act of combining several elements in order to make a whole.

Composition comes from the word componere, a Latin term that means “putting together. So, basically, all the above-mentioned meanings are correct. When you write a literary piece, you put together your ideas. A painting, no matter what medium was used, is composed of different ideas and elements.

Regardless of how it is used, composition is important if you want to come up with an interesting and inviting work of art.

Understanding the Meaning of Composition in Photography

While the word composition means different things in various genres, its basic meaning is still one that can be used in photography. For one, photography is actually like creating a painting; you put together several ideas by taking photos. In some aspects, it is similar to a literary masterpiece as each photo tells an interesting story.

In a more detailed context, though, composition in photography pertains to the putting together or the arranging of certain elements or parts in order to create a visual image. It is what photographers use to highlight a particular viewpoint or focus that an audience clearly sees.

For example, a photographer goes out to take photos. He decides to explore Yosemite, an enchantingly beautiful location surrounded by greens, wildlife, and waterfalls. Since his intention is to show the audience how breathtaking the place is, he arranges or puts together some scenes or elements through his camera’s lens or viewfinder.

A photographer can choose several viewpoints for his photos:

  • one perspective can focus on the big, green trees,
  • while another can highlight the refreshing flow of the river with the waterfall on the side,
  • and yet another can choose to capture the mountains that look so alive.
Photo Composition Tips & Tutorials 2

He will need to consider things like lightingfocal lengthangle, and aperture to come up with a good composition.

If he decides to take the photo from a distance, he will need to first experiment to decide which angle, focal length, lighting, and aperture to use. If he decides to use a wide aperture, his image will have a blurred background. If he wants the whole environment to be in focus and his images sharper from edge to edge, his aperture should be closed. This way, the image will be more balanced.

This is what composition does. No matter how simple an image is, by putting together the right elements, the photo will become livelier (with that extra pop and oomph), interesting, and generally visually appealing.

Photo Composition Tips & Tutorials 3

Why Should You Bother With Composition?

As previously stated, composition can help photographers convey their message or central focus better. It helps the audience grasp the whole meaning of the image. In this manner, composition could become a personal statement of a photographer.

But do you think this is the only reason why good composition is essential in photography? The answer is NO.

Basically, when you photograph something, you want it to be as beautiful as it can be. This, however, is not the main reason why you should incorporate good composition into your photography practice.

Good composition is essential because it is what will help you to emphasize the effect that you want your audience to feel.

Can’t you really teach me composition?

As I said, composition is something that cannot be easily taught. But you learn it by practice. Just explore the portfolios of artists in your field, pick up the photos that you like the most and find out why you like them. Then shoot, shoot, shoot. And finally, show your work and ask for feedback. Before you know it, finding the right composition will turn into your second nature.

I cannot teach you how to see but I can help you learn what to look for.

Is there anything you’d like to ask me about composition in photography? Feel free to post your questions or comments below.