Photography composition, three easy ideas to improve them now!

Photography composition, three easy ideas to improve them now!

Posted By: Aaron Hagen August 30, 2017

Photography composition, What is it??

Photography composition, it’s the all important component that includes the placement and arrangement of visual elements in a photograph. It’s everything that you see in the frame all pulled together into one, putting it all together. A photography composition is all the little things that add up to that one single photograph. photography composition could not possibly be any more important in photography!

There are so many subtle elements that can be added into a scene to make it stand out more, the elements are all around you at any given moment. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned veteran or just starting out, improving your photography composition is something that can benefit anyone. Learning how to use all the diverse elements around you at any given moment for a photograph, it’s something that can be learned over time. Just like anything developing your “vision” for frames and shots takes time to develop. As you develop, your photography composition will inevitably change, if you are making progress that is.

1) Shoot Through Something

This is one of my personal favorite ways to frame a shot as a fallback for something a little different. This simply means that you get up close and personal to something; an object, animal, person, just about anything and use it as your foreground. With this in the frame, you focus past your foreground so that it becomes blurred. Your background will be the star of the show just as you want it to be. The framing is given an extra “pop” by adding that extra element, the thing we are all generally after. You typically want your shot to be as unique as possible, and this is an easy way to do it.

Photography composition shoot through

I am going to absolutely beat this dead horse, but you truly can shoot through just about anything. If you’re shooting a landscape you can shoot through leaves, trees, flowers, rocks, and the list goes on and on. If you’re shooting in an urban environment this can include all forms of architecture, railing, stairs, posts, and even people. The possibilities are absolutely endless for photography composition. Combined with the fact that you can shoot through just about anything to add more to a shot. That’s where your own creativity comes into play, it’s the thing that separates you from the other person with the same camera next to you. By adding this simple element to your arsenal of creative ideas that make up how you frame your shots, you’re well on your way to some great photographs already!

This video details a lot of what I’m covering and will add an excellent visual to help you learn photography composition.

2) Know Your Lighting

Lighting is probably one of the most important elements of photography. It can make or break the photograph. It’s common practice for many styles of photography that sunrise and sunset will provide the most contrast and the superior color (among other things) much more-so than midday lighting. Midday lighting is notorious for being the worst type of lighting possible for a wide variety of photography. Shooting into the sun will not give you the professional quality photos that you are seeking most of the time.

Golden Hour Photography composition

What is lighting in photography and why must I utilize it you may ask? Sunlight contains light of every color and when it illuminates an object or subject that we are seeing certain colors of light reflected by that object that then travels into our eyes. Red objects reflect red light, and green objects reflect green light. Dark objects reflect less light than bright objects. The most important thing we need to know is that what we see is created by light reflecting off of everything and traveling into our eyes. A photograph is created by capturing the light that is reflecting off of our scene and traveling into our camera.

There is an actual time of day that is widely regarded by many photographers as the best time to shoot. It’s called “golden hour” and it takes place shortly after sunrise and before sunset, this is the time when the sky will often give you the best color. The contrast and color will be the most vibrant at this time. The light will be much softer than when the sky is high in the sky.

Composition big ben Framing

3) Alter Your Perspective

Shooting low, high, far away, close up, just all over the place. Altering the perspective of the image can alter the photography composition drastically. The same exact elements pulled together into a frame can be changed by moving around and finding new perspectives of the same shot.

Moving around and finding new ways to frame the shot can open up a world of possibilities for exposing new elements around you. Maybe it is not seen at first until you attempt to frame your shot. Then you may notice that altering the perspective made it a totally different shot.

The symmetry of the shot is another aspect that has the potential to be changed. Perhaps your object or subject of focus in the frame will become more lined up with a point of interest in the background. Thus after this action, a more visually appealing photograph could be the outcome. Symmetry is invaluable for good framing, let me be clear with that. In turn, symmetry is amazingly useful for creating that perfect composition that you’re looking for.

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Antonio Cuellar

Antonio Cuellar is a luxury resort and hotel photographer and a avid travel blogger.