How many times have you taken a photo, only to be disappointed when it didn’t turn out quite as you expected? Have you ever wondered why? Was it because you pressed the shutter button too early? Was it because of the lighting? Maybe you thought it was a problem with your camera? There could be dozens of reasons why your photo come out as you expected it to, but more often than not it’s because of the composition of the photo itself.
When it comes to photography, ‘composition’ is one of the basic building blocks that can help make a good photo, great. That is why we’ve decided to help you out by compiling a list of 6 tips that can help you achieve near perfect photo compositions a good 80% of the time! Rest assured that by practising and applying any of these tips below, you’ll finally be able to match what you’ve captured to what you’ve envisioned!
Use the rule of thirds
You know those grid lines on your camera that you can turn on and off? Well, those gridlines can actually help you apply one of the all-time classic composition techniques; The Rule of Thirds. Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, ‘The Rule of Thirds’ divides your image into nine boxes of equal size using horizontal and vertical lines.
These lines will intersect at four points and since the viewers’ eyes are naturally drawn to those points, the Rule of Thirds says that you should place your subject or the most important elements of the scene along one of the lines or on one of the points.
Add Depth with Objects
If you ever looked at one of your photos and thought; ‘It’s nice but it’s a little boring…’ maybe you should consider adding a point-of-interest into the mix. Having a point-of-interest (be it a person or an object) in the foreground, middle ground, and in the far distance is a great technique for adding depth and showcasing distance in your photos.
The trick here is, is that each of these three sections should have enough defined contrast to be easily distinguishable from one another, otherwise your photo may turn out too messy.
Frame your image
If you want to draw the viewers eyes to a particular area in your photo, you should definitely consider framing your shot. Framing is another classic technique that can add more interest, balance and depth to your photos. In order to achieve this shot, you can frame your subject with various things found in nature; such as overhanging tree branches, rock formations, or tall grass. Alternatively, you can also frame your object with man-made objects, such as ornate doorways, windows, and fence post.
Some other things that can be used to frame your images include Shadow and Light Frames (the light coming through a window or the glow of a flashlight) and Shape Frames (like looking through a tire swing to take a portrait).
Keep background Simple
If you’re doing portrait photography, it’s best to keep the background as simple as possible in order to put further emphasis on your subject. After all, if your background is too busy, you risk losing some of the important characteristics of your subject; like beauty marks or interesting colouring.
One of the most common techniques to simplify your background is to blur it with selective focus. Another method is by using things that are already naturally present, such as a cloudless sky, a brick wall or an open space (like a field or parking lot). You can even control the background by utilising different angles, such as by shooting from a higher or lower vantage point.
Show the Scale
Make your landscape shot look more majestic and dazzling by adding in a person or an object to show the sheer scale of the landscape. For example, taking a photo of a man overlooking a canyon or standing on a mountain top. Shots like these are impressive because the viewers get to see a comparison of sizes between the person and the landscape; making it seem much more vast and impressive.
The trick to achieving this shot is to ensure that your subject would be large enough to catch the viewers’ attention but not so striking as to distract from the actual scenery.
Play with your point of view.
Make your shots more interesting by taking photos from unexpected places. If you recall from some of the previous points, we’ve actually touched a little bit on vantage points and how angles can make a real difference in your photos by adding in more depth.
By playing with your point of view, you’ll be able to showcase to your viewers new and interesting angles that have previously remained hidden. For example, shooting photos from close to the ground, at a toddler’s eye level or using a drone to capture a bird’s eye view. Each of these points of views will give off a different impact, even if you were to photograph the same subject.
And that concludes our list of 6 Tips to Achieve Perfect Photo Compositions. By practising and applying some of these tips, you’ll be able up your photography game in no time! A good tip is to print out your photos; maybe turn them into photo books so that you can track your improvement (a bit like a photo diary).
If you would like to create a photo book or if you have a shot that you’re particularly proud of and want to turn into a particular knick-knack be sure to visit the Pixajoy website as we have a variety of ranges that you can choose and personalise from.