Composition in photography explained
What they don't tell you about composition?
I'm sure that most of beginner photographers and others with interest in art have heard about rule of thirds and other "laws" and rules of the composition. They are all good to know and implement in your photos, but do you really know what makes a good composition, and what effect certain things have on the picture?
There are two sides of photography: on one side everything techical, and on the other composition. Composition starts with shooting and choosing the technique, choosing the subject and its placement in picture format.
Composition is not exact science. There is no rules and laws how we can make photo interesting. Only guides and directions for different combinations, and freedom to apply them where they fit at our own taste and judgement.
If something works great in one case, in other it can be bad.
I am amateur photographer, and I learned this things from various resources, and I tried to present them in a way that everyone can understand composition basics
Composition is organised method. It can be compared with the work of the architect when he makes the right plan for a building in which every element has a spot according to its purpose and importance.
So, composition can be summed up in this five points:
1. Good positioning of subject
2. Leaving out everything irrelevant
3. Organize all elements
4. Accentuate main part of the subject
5. Try to show our view
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Point of interest
Point of interest represents the most important thing in the subject.
For example, on portrait the eyes are the thing that draws our attention, on seascape the boat or sun...
Positioning point pf interest in the dead center should be avoided, because it makes the photo looks static, rigid and symmetric.
We can divide the photo in different ways and with positioning our subject we can set the tone and the feeling.
1. If we divide picture vertically, we can feel that more important side is the right one.
We can see that in the newspapers where the more important articles are on the right page.
2. If we divide picture horizontally, we will feel the upper part as lighter and more important.
3. If we divide the picture on 4 parts, we'll get 4 planes with different importance, where 1 is the most important.
RULE THAT DESERVES ATTENTION
There can be only one main subject in the photo. And on the subject, only one point of interest.
Everything else should be subordinate to the point of interest.
There can be only one main line on the picture and it is in most cases longer and thicker.
It should lead the view to the most important thing on the photo. And it shouldn't go to the edge of the photo because it could lead the eye out of the photo.
Horizontal lines suggest the viewer a sense of depth, width, peace and tranquility.
Horizon line on the sea or field should always be positioned off centre, and it should be straight.
They give impression of height, tranquility, silence, and often monumentality and power.
Effect of straight vertical lines is always static.
With diagonal line we can make the impression of movement. Every leaning line creates a tension in the picture, the tension is greater if the line is steeper.
It is better to avoid squares, photo with them looks stiff, still and in most cases boring.
Triangles represent persistency. Equilateral triangle gives impression of sturdiness, stability, energy.
CURVED LINES AND "S" LINES
They are called lines of beauty and elegance. If they are positioned well, they give impression of grace, elegance, mobility and animacy.
The most common are in fashion photography and nude photography.
OVALS AND CIRCLES
They make picture feel closed.
If the peak is positioned upwards it represents strength and tension, which is greater with greater curvature.
They give impression of mobility, movement and often restlesness.
It looks capricious, restless, exiting and fractious.
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