Photo by ChrisY
Story by stanwa
Many people believe that the only qualification needed for taking a good photograph is being able to use the manual controls of their digital camera. However, although this is important, composition is just as essential if not more so. In fact using the auto settings and getting the composition right will result in better quality images. Photograph composition conveys your influence on your photographs and without doubt the most crucial part of creating a good picture is the correct arrangement of the subject and background and yet, the majority of novices and amateurs ignore it.
The basis of good composition is accepting what does and doesn't belong in a photograph. To some this seems to come naturally while others have to work at it and although the editing process can achieve good composition later it's more beneficial to be successful when capturing the image in the first place. It's a lot easier to edit a well-composed photograph.
There are a few guidelines, however, to follow that will help improve the quality of the composition and therefore the quality of the images. Simplicity is probably the first and foremost important rule. Selecting backgrounds that are uncluttered will not transfer attention away from the chosen subject and the most visual treatment should be given to the center of attention in the pictures.
Another good suggestion for better photograph composition is the Rule of Thirds. Basically, this entails dividing the image into thirds, vertically and horizontally and, depending on the subject, place the center of interest on one of the four options where these lines intersect. Compositions using this technique usually turn out more appealing and many digital cameras now include this feature.
For outdoor pictures the time of day can be significant with the colour of the light surrounding the subject further enhancing or detracting from the photograph's composition with the shadows and light direction becoming part of the construction of the image. Enhance the composition with energy and depth by the use of diagonal lines and patterns. A strong foreground will lead the eye onto the main subject and give the composition perspective and interest.
There are many things that go into making a good photograph and composition, although important, is just one of the elements. However, get the composition right and you will enjoy the results of your photography much more. Keep practising and it will become a habit to give consideration to the composition of any image when taking a photograph.
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