Composition at its best – Part 2

Without a doubt, the best way to improve your photography is to practice, make mistakes and, through trial and error, learn what works for you in a photograph. Good composition is an essential element in any successful photograph and there are many methods for composing a photograph:

  • Use a strong foreground interest, thus giving depth to the image and grabbing the viewer’s attention. Be sure to set a small aperture for total sharpness.
  • Experiment with lines leading the eye into an image, such as shorelines or the ridge of a sand dune. Be careful not to compose an image with the subject too close to the edge of the frame and try not to clutter a photograph with so much information the viewer becomes confused.
  • Work with unusual perspectives (perhaps by lying down or even climbing a tree) to find the best way to complement what you’re photographing.
  • Try to create a balance in your photographs, particularly with the panoramic format, creating the same amount of interest each side of the frame.
  • To compose well, a simple rule is the rule of thirds. Imagine your frame with two evenly spaced lines running vertically and two running horizontally, dividing your frame into horizontal and vertical thirds. With the rule of thirds, your subjects should be placed on the intersecting points and your horizon placed on one of the horizontal thirds.
  • Most importantly, take your time and be honest with yourself.

Perhaps ask yourself – would I hang this on my wall? If not, why not? Keep searching for the solution until the answer is yes. You’ll find your solution will usually lie within your composition.

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