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6 Photography Guidelines for Great Composition

In photography there are more guidelines than rules to help you make the most impact with your photos. These few guidelines/techniques will help you enhance the composition of your photos for a better outcome.

After some time, you’ll naturally see these guides without having to think about it. The final photo will lead the viewers eye exactly where you wanted it to because of how you set up the elements. The more you shoot the easier it’ll be to see the best outcome possible.

1. Rule of Thirds

The most basic and commonly heard “rule” is the about dividing your shot into 9 equal sections. Within the grid you position the more important elements of your photo along the lines or where the lines intersect. It’s a simple way to avoid just centering your main focus.

2. Leading Lines

When we look at a photo our eyes are naturally drawn by lines. With a great pattern you can enhance your photo and affect where you want the viewers to be drawn in the photo.

3. Golden Ratio

A more complex version of the Rule of Thirds…also called the ‘Fibonacci Spiral’. Once you’ve divided your photo into squares you also add a spiral which is used to continue the flow of the image. For example, by placing your point of impact in the corner then the spiral continues the focus on the rest of the image naturally.

4. Framing

Want to draw the eye directly to the main focus? Isolate the subject from unwanted items with a natural frame. It could be a tree branch, windows, buildings, archways, or many other effective elements to use as a frame.

5. Symmetry, Patterns, and Textures

This is a great way to break out of the monotony of certain photo techniques. It’s a great way to add an eye-catching pattern, texture, or symmetry in the photo as the main focus.

6. Depth

Add some depth to your photos with specific elements in the fore, middle, or background. The way you set up the elements available to you can compliment each other or draw the eye away from the focus. The style you select also depends on the kind of shoot you’re going for like landscape or portrait. So blur your background, have subjects at varying distances, or compose your elements carefully to get that perfect shot.

What are some of your favorite photography guidelines? We’d love to know…leave a comment below.

Plus, show off all your improved photos using new techniques with a ProShow slideshow. Submit your video to be a spotlight on our blog. Be sure to select the blog submission option.


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Kathy is the Marketing Coordinator at Photodex. She likes to be creative with photography and programs like Photoshop. What she thought was a hobby growing up became a career. She enjoys living in Austin, but also loves to adventure to new places.