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10 Top Photography Composition Rules

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10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by Hanne on Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:47 pm

1.Rule of Thirds
Imagine that your image is divided into nine equal segments by two vertical and two horizontal lines. Try to 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.




2. Balancing Elements
Placing your main subject off-centre, as with the rule of thirds, creates a more interesting photo, but it can leave a void in the scene which can make it feel empty. You should balance the 'weight' of your subject by including another object of lesser importance to fill the space.




3.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.



4.Symmetry and Patterns
We are surrounded by symmetry and patterns, both natural and man-made, and they can make for very eye-catching compositions, particularly in situations where they are not expected. Another great way to use them is to break the symmetry or pattern in some way, introducing tension and a focal point to the scene.



5.Viewpoint
Before photographing your subject, take time to think about where you will shoot it from. Our viewpoint has a massive impact on the composition of our photo, and as a result it can greatly affect the message that the shot conveys. Rather than just shooting from eye level, consider photographing from high above, down at ground level, from the side, from the back, from a long way away, from very close up, and so on.



6.Background
How many times have you taken what you thought would be a great shot, only to find that the final image lacks impact because the subject blends into a busy background? The human eye is excellent at distinguishing between different elements in a scene, whereas a camera has a tendency to flatten the foreground and background, and this can often ruin an otherwise great photo. Thankfully this problem is usually easy to overcome at the time of shooting - look around for a plain and unobtrusive background and compose your shot so that it doesn't distract or detract from the subject.



7.Create Depth
Because photography is a two-dimensional medium, we have to choose our composition carefully to conveys the sense of depth that was present in the actual scene. You can create depth in a photo by including objects in the foreground, middle ground and background. Another useful composition technique is overlapping, where you deliberately partially obscure one object with another. The human eye naturally recognises these layers and mentally separates them out, creating an image with more depth.



8.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 focussed image which draws your eye naturally to the main point of interest.



9.Cropping
Often a photo will lack impact because the main subject is so small it becomes lost among the clutter of its surroundings. By cropping tight around the subject you eliminate the background 'noise', ensuring the subject gets the viewer's undivided attention.



10.Experimentation
With the dawn of the digital age in photography we no longer have to worry about film processing costs or running out of shots. As a result, experimenting with our photos' composition has become a real possibility; we can fire off tons of shots and delete the unwanted ones later at absolutely no extra cost. Take advantage of this fact and experiment with your composition - you never know whether an idea will work until you try it.

Composition in photography is far from a science, and as a result all of the 'rules' above should be taken with a pinch of salt. If they don't work in your scene, ignore them; if you find a great composition that contradicts them, then go ahead and shoot it anyway. But they can often prove to be spot on, and are worth at least considering whenever you are out and about with your camera.

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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by CY on Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:58 pm

Good tips from Hanne! Thanks for sharing. I would suggest moderator to pin this up for future references.

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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by Hanne on Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:01 pm

welcome Cy as a photographer we must know all this composition rules... i am still learning those composition rules... Smile

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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by CY on Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:02 pm

Yeap, many I've not seen or heard before. Good that you've shared this for us to learn Very Happy.

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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by angelagan on Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:05 pm

Thanksss for sharing....very Good tips Smile
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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by Fel on Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:27 pm

thanks hanne!~ now i know what cy meant about the rule of thirds at the gathering after pc fair.
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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by CY on Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:38 pm

I don't recall telling you about rule of third butta. It was the reciprocal rule! Meaning to avoid hand shake, the recommended shutter speed is 1/(effective focal length). In your case, your recommended is 1/75 and above since you're using a 50mm on a crop sensor. Of course, with the advancement in technology such as IS/VR etc, you can break this rule. But your lens don't have these... so that explain why a lot of handshake >.<

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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by Fel on Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:46 pm

rule of third also got..you didnt tell me about it but u asked me if i know about it.

u asked me :'dont you know about the rule of third?' after looking at my compositions ahhaha it was before we talked about the shutter speed...CY getting old le
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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by maxgoh on Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:09 pm

thanks hanne.....this is the RULES of photography. yes sir

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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by CY on Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:14 pm

Fel wrote:rule of third also got..you didnt tell me about it but u asked me if i know about it.

u asked me :'dont you know about the rule of third?' after looking at my compositions ahhaha it was before we talked about the shutter speed...CY getting old le
Rule of third not meh lehhh! I confirm I didn't explain that >.<! Nor I recalled commenting about composition wor, only commented about the shutter and handshake :S.
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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by sohchong on Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:16 pm

Hanne ...many many thanks what a good share from u .... cheers

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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by Fel on Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:20 pm

CY wrote:
Rule of third not meh lehhh! I confirm I didn't explain that >.

iyshk already said u didnt explain lo...u just asked me if i heard of it coz my composition CMI haha
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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by Hanne on Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:21 pm

Fel wrote:thanks hanne!~ now i know what cy meant about the rule of thirds at the gathering after pc fair.

maxgoh wrote:thanks hanne.....this is the RULES of photography. yes sir

sohchong wrote:Hanne ...many many thanks what a good share from u .... cheers


welcome welcome together we learn together we share... photonian spirit Smile
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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by Jameslye on Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:17 pm

Hanne good job!! i am learning now Smile

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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by Fred on Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:38 pm

Nice sharing there Hanne~ Good Job... The 11th rule after u mastered all the above -- Break all the rules above and develop ur own style~! Smile
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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by markchew on Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:51 pm

Good job Hanne~the RULES of photography~

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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by mattchoo on Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:15 pm

Cool, golden words for photography cheers
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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by zongzien on Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:47 pm

Nice sharing and a good tutorial ^^
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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by dennyoon on Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:15 pm

wow.. have to learning a lot from it! thx hanne!
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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by kenn_wai on Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:51 pm

wah...good good good...transfer to my brain now...hahaha
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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by Angelwee on Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:33 pm

CY wrote:Good tips from Hanne! Thanks for sharing. I would suggest moderator to pin this up for future references.


Thanks Hanne sharing this tips.

CY, u Help moderator to pin this up loh~ Cool
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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by CY on Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:54 pm

Hello Lao Shi,

In case you didn't notice I no longer have access in this area. You should do it Smile.

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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by timothy on Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:35 am

http://aphotocontributor.typepad.com/aphotocontributor/2008/10/the-golden-ratio.html

some info as well....
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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by Hanne on Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:27 am

welcome welcome...will share more info with u guys Smile

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Re: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

Post by ivanlow on Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:14 am

very nice... thanks for sharing...

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