At Fotobeginnerusa, you can find a lot of techniques for composition, but if you want to learn more, you can refer to this “10 Simple Techniques for Improving Composition” that get you started now!

(1) Simplify the Scene

In various photography training classes, I often tell my students one of the most common mistakes for beginners is being too greedy. They want to shoot everything that is in front of them. Although shooting everything can make your photos seem good, often this makes your photos lack a theme, it leads to clutter and loses the story or meaning expressed by it. Instead, try to make the scene as simple as possible, just take interesting subjects, remove the extra elements, and the theme of the photo will be more prominent and interesting.


(2) Fill the Frame

If a photo has irrelevant things or spaces around it, the subject may not be prominent enough. We can try to fill the photo as much as possible, make use of your zoom-in functions, or take a few steps forward/backwards to make photos more full and rich!


(3) Make Good Use of Straight, Horizontal and, Photo Proportions

Although the horizontal is more convenient for handheld camera shooting, if you are taking too many horizontal photos it gets boring! Many times straight photos can take beautiful effects, even better than the horizontal. Whether to shoot straight or horizontal, try both!

In addition, the ratio of photos is not necessarily 3:2 or 4:3. It may be better to adjust to square and 16:9 and other photos in the camera to make your photos more diverse.



(4) Do Not Always Put the Subject in the Middle

Take advantage of the rule of thirds, the 4 intersections, remember?




(5) Use Guide Lines

A carelessly framed photo often lacks focus, leaving viewers wondering where to look. To avoid this, it is better to find a good “guideline” to help guide the viewer’s attention to the subject. The guideline does not have to be a solid line, it can be a row of street lights and several stones or anything you can find. You can also connect these separate objects. Of course, physical lines such as roads and railings can also be used well!


(6) Use Diagonal Lines

Diagonal lines are a very common composition method. Compared to the horizontal and vertical directions, which mainly express smoothness and order, the diagonal line is very suitable for expressing dynamic or energetic things and feelings.


(7) Reserve Space for “Moving Objects”

People often imagine themselves when they see an object. What will the object do next, or what will it become? Therefore, when shooting something that moves (whether it really moves or feels moving), please leave a little space in the direction of the movement, so that the photos will look proper.

Photo by {link:}Dave Wilson{/link}

Photo by {link:}Dave Wilson{/link}

(8) Blurring the Background and Highlighting the Subject

This composition method is a must for photographers! The use of shallow depth of field (shooting method please refer to the novice will learn! 3 shoots “shallow depth of field” tips article), can highlight the subject in a messy background, not only for portraits, still objects, scenery close-in, Architectural photos, and more. 

Photo by {link:}Craig Letourneau{/link}

Photo by {link:}Craig Letourneau{/link}

(9) Make Good Use of Color Contrast

Contrast is arguably one of the easiest techniques in composition. Novices can learn from “color contrast”. You need to find the opposite color system to shoot, such as yellow-blue, red-green, etc. In addition to arranging the two colors side by side in the composition. You can also use the surrounding method (red in the green leaves) to express it.

Photo from {link:}{/link}

Some contrasting colors.


(10) Don’t Be Afraid of Theory, Just Freely Play!

In fact, the theory of composition techniques is just the beginning. When you really take a shot, you can be bold and try. As long as you can express the story behind the photo. Some methods that break the conventional composition can strengthen the appeal of the photo!



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Author: Alex Tam