Understanding the Rules of Composition in Photography

With the advent of the mobile phone and tablet, everyone seems to be taking photographs, and for many people all they want is a record of a holiday or family event or a special moment in their lives which they are happy to share with their friends and perhaps to look at some years later when it will bring back a fond memory of times past.

Some of us however want to take their photography one step further and turn it into a hobby which we can develop and improve. So we dispense with our point and shoot camera and stop using our phones and invest in a reasonably decent camera. Personally, although I had been taking pictures for almost 50 years, I only took it up as a serious hobby in 2010 when I purchased a Panasonic DMC-FZ38 prior to visiting Kenya on my first Safari.

To begin with, I looked at the 128 page manual, hardly understood a word, so set the camera to auto and went off on safari. I took some great photos but it was only after I joined a local camera club and started to learn about the art of composition that I began to actually look through the lens and think about what I was doing, instead of simply pointing the camera at an object and pressing the shutter.

Like me, I suspect that many new photographers get confused, or even totally put off, by such things as focal length, ISO, aperture, shutter speed, focusing, exposure, etc., etc., and while I believe that it is very useful to understand the more technical elements, I do believe that the most important element for a new photographer to get to grips with, is Composition. All digital camera manufacturers spend a large amount of time and money on software to help the user get the correct camera settings to capture that shot and, as I did initially, if you set your camera on auto, the vast majority of time you will get technically good results. However the one thing that no camera is able to do, no matter how much money you have spent buying it, is compose a photo that is attractive to the eye.

So what do I mean by Composition? Putting it into its very basic form, composition can be said to be the way to create a photo that is aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Google “composition in photography” and you come up with such results as:-
20 Composition Techniques That Will Improve Your Photos:
10 Top Photography Composition Rules
9 Top Photography Composition Rules You Need To Know
18 Composition Rules For Photos That Shine
5 Elements of Composition in Photography
5 Easy Composition Guidelines
The 10 rules of photo composition (and why they work)
12 Rules for Effective Composition in Photography: etc., etc.!

While you will undoubtedly learn by reading all of those articles, (and I would suggest that you do in time), I will concentrate on a few simple rules that I follow. Before I go further, while some of these are called rules, remember rules are there to be broken. What I am trying to do is to encourage you to think about what you are trying to achieve when looking through the viewfinder. I will start then with something that you have probably already come across:-

The Rule of Thirds.

Basically, if you imagine a photo divided into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, the main subject of the image should be where a vertical line cross a horizontal one.

Many modern cameras allow you to place a grid in the viewfinder which can be used to place the object where two lines intersect. While we are talking about the Rule of Thirds, it is generally best to place the horizon on one of the thirds, rather than in the centre of the frame, dependent on whether the main points of interest are in the sky or on the ground.

Leading Lines

These lead the viewers eyes into the picture either to the main subject or on a journey through the whole of the picture. Examples of leading lines could be a path wandering through the image, a fence line, a meandering road or a stream or river.


To demonstrate that the rules are no more than guidelines, the next one contradicts the Rule of Thirds. If your image is symmetrical, then it could benefit from being centred either on the horizontal, or vertical centre line. This works particularly well for reflections

Rule of Space

This rule is talking about giving the subject in the photo, space to move into the frame. This particularly applies to animals and vehicles. The object should have the most space in front of it, and not be right up to the edge of frame, giving it nowhere to go.

Rule of Odds

Generally speaking, it is thought that photos with an odd number of subjects is more visually appealing and natural looking than those with an even number, where the viewers eyes may flick around the image, unsure of where to settle. I tend to use the rule of odds particularly if taking a close up of flowers or the like.

I hope that I have given you a brief insight into composition and that when you next look through your viewfinder you will at least stop and think for a few seconds at what you are looking at and how the shot may be improved. But just remember, these rules, and all the others you will come across, are simply guide lines to help you go in the right direction, they are not railway tracks that you have to stick to rigidly. Finally I will end with the words of Pablo Picasso – “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

Why You Should Consult a Professional for the Finest Wedding Photography Shoots

With the spread of smartphones, everyone has access to photography and videography. It does appear to be a simple process even in the hands of teenagers, basically is with the aim and shoot approach. Yet, photography and cinematography in the commercial and corporate sense would have a lot of complexities. Besides creativity and innovation, as per emerging trends, the editing and touching up process requires a great deal of skill supported by experience. Wedding photography with all the advanced equipment and super staff would package a set of dreams for the future!

The colossal wedding occasion

It is a day like none other. Preparations have commenced weeks and months ahead and dreams have been building up towards the grand event. Social media made it rather easier remaining in touch. The venue, the decorations and the invitations, the ceremony, the transport and the music, the food, and the costumes are some major area of arrangements. Perhaps the venue is different and located on the beach or forest, farmhouse or hilltop. Indulge the fancies for a once in a lifetime occasion and make it as memorable as the couple wishes.

As the date approaches, feelings and emotions, sentiments and anticipation reach a crescendo as if any waiting further will not be possible. Every mighty event in national and public, religious and social life raises such concerns about the weather and the services being rendered punctually and well. Yet, hopefully, not only will the occasion would work out fine but the life of marital bliss would be blessed for a happily ever after a fairytale wedding.

The recording worth preserving for a generation and more

There is no doubt that many cameras and videos would be recording the event. You need some professional services too for the wedding photography that would turn the occasion into works of art, in stills and in films. They are the professionals who have perfected it all into a fine art. Do you fancy life-sized enlargements to drape the walls and announce the marriage to the world? Would you share the wedding stills and videos on social media with the world or keep it all within the family walls? Perhaps a leather-bound family album of blissful stills would attract friends and relatives to the home.

Superior by far too commercial and feature films that merely tell fictional stories, sometimes based on true events, there is something true to life. Each detail in the film is exactly what happened before, during and after that memorable event. Editing, additions and deletions and insertions heighten the effect and the special effects add a further dash of drama. Wait and see after discussing in detail.

Corporate and commercial filming tool is necessary

The daily dose of advertising films keeps life going. Every product requires broadcasting over print and film media and so those gems are born to carry messages about brands of soap and textiles to the consumer. Such assignments require a different approach without the intense involvement of feelings and emotions like the wedding day. Perhaps no other social occasion can quite equal the wedding in importance and a world of feeling. Honored over the centuries, marriages keep the society going and give rise to the next generation.

While attitudes to marriages may be changing, love and passion remain, without which the bringing up of the children may not be possible. Good marriages create a strong social foundation. The company does a great service by creating vivid memories to treasure among several families and circulate over social media. Sharing is what the true spirit of existence means and why should such occasions remain secret?

Live up the occasion before and after, perhaps in a favorite resort. This is certainly no time to restrict spending but remains within budgets. Getting away from the crowds and the noise to a remote setting may help spin the dreams that would herald the sweet future. What happens after the children are born and how will life change? What about the professional careers and how are they going?

Living in the present is certainly most important! Wedding photography will not only capture the present but create a work of art that would feed the memories and the sentiments through the decades. Though life is so long, a positive start has been achieved. Consult them for the details.