Photo & Video composition Velocity jhm media ministry

What is photo composition?

It may sound clich├ęd, but the only rule in photography is that there are no rules. However, there are are number of established composition guidelines which can be applied in almost any situation, to enhance the impact of a scene. Poor photo composition can make a fantastic subject dull, but a well-set scene can create a wonderful image from the most ordinary of situations. The key thing is to understand how all the decisions you make about composition can affect the way a shot looks and how people perceive your photos. These guidelines will help you take more compelling photographs and video, lending them a natural balance, drawing attention to the important parts of the scene, or leading the viewer's eye through the image.

RULE 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 the points where they intersect.

Doing so will add balance and interest to your photo. Some cameras even offer an option to superimpose a rule of thirds grid over the LCD screen, making it even easier to use.

CENTERED & SYMETRIC COMPOSITION

There are times when placing a subject in the center of the frame works really well. Symmetrical scenes are perfect for a centered composition. They look really well in square frames too.

LEADING LINES

When we look at a photo our eye is naturally drawn along lines. By thinking about how you place lines in your composition, you can affect the way we view the image, pulling us into the picture, towards the subject, 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.

FRAMING

The world is full of objects which make perfect natural frames, such as trees, archways and holes. By placing these around the edge of the composition you help to isolate the main subject from the outside world. The result is a more focused image which draws your eye naturally to the main point of interest.

THE RULE OF SPACE

The rule of space relates to the direction the subject(s) in your photo are facing or moving towards. If you are taking a photo of a moving car for example, there should be more space left in the frame in front of the car than behind it. This implies that there is space in the frame for the car to move into. This can also be used for pictures of pictures of people. The rule of space suggests that the subject should be looking or facing into the frame rather than out of it.

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