Among many framing techniques, the easiest and most common technique is to use “guide-lines”!

Good photographers use photos to tell stories, How do we do this? Using Guide-lines! Let’s take a look at some guide-lines for choosing guides to compose photos!


Benefits of Guide-lines

Usually a good photo will have a “Point of Interest”, and this interesting point is the focus of the entire photo, the purpose is to hope that viewers can see this and then feel the story that the photographer wants to express. A very simple and straightforward method is to establish a “line” to guide the viewers eyes. Therefore, the guide-line can increase the story of the photo and make the reader understand the meaning easily.

How do I choose a guide-line?

As the name suggests, guiding the lines to the viewer. There are directional lines that are used to extend and guide, but in fact these “lines” are not “actual “lines”, as long as it is directional and can let the reader’s eyes go from one end to the other.

It is easy to find some guide lines in real life, such as:

  • road
  • Small bridge
  • running water
  • Neatly arranged lamp posts
  • Light and shadow
  • stairs
  • Color lines
  • and many more…

In fact, there are many subjects around us that can be used as “guide-lines”. As long as you explore them carefully, you will be able to see them.

Points to Note when Using guides

(1) The Guideline as the Foreground

Usually the guideline can also be used as the foreground, because most of the foreground attracts the viewers attention first. By placing the guideline in the foreground we can play its role more effectively.

(2) The Guide-line Should be Obvious

Many times the guide-line is not a true “line”, so pay attention to whether the guide-line is clear when looking for an angle.

To Sum it Up

Then use the guide line as a simple but a useful composition method, combined with other simple composition such as golden section and frame composition will definitely make the photo more rich!


Extended reading

  • Photography must learn: the golden section of composition
  • Creative Composition: Using Virtual Frames to Highlight the Theme
  • Composition skills






In addition to the guide lines, this photo also uses the “frame composition method”



Author: Alex Tam