10 Photo Composition Techniques to Improve Your Images

Careful planning and consideration – that’s what goes into every well composed photograph. These techniques will help you master the art of photo composition in no time.

1. Simplicity

Including too many objects in one photo can lead to a cluttered scene. Keep it simple so that there is one clear focal point. If you can’t avoid including certain elements, incorporate them into the photo so that the main subject becomes more apparent.

2. Rule of Thirds

Use your imagination to divide the scene into thirds both horizontally and vertically. Then, line up your subject so that it falls on one of the lines, or even better, at intersecting lines.

For instance, take your landscape photo and adjust the camera slightly so that the horizon falls either slightly below or above the center of the shot. Even something as simple as avoiding the middle of the image can instantly give your photos a more professional feel.

3. Vertical Shots

Do you shoot mostly horizontal photos? Try turning the camera and capturing vertical images as well. This will add variety to your collection. After all, not everyone’s looking for the same thing.

4. Lines and Diagonals

Lines exist almost everywhere and can easily draw people into a photo. Try using natural lines, including horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines, to lead the eye into the scene. Whether it’s a fence, tree line, edge of a building or road, lines will add depth and may emphasize the focal point.

5. Positioning

Where you position a person, animal or object has a huge impact. When a person is included in the shot, he or she should usually be facing into the frame – the same goes for animals. If you’re photographing a moving car or other object, leave more space in front of it than behind it, to create the sense that it has somewhere to go.

6. Backgrounds

Control the background so that it adds to your photo instead of taking away from it. Reposition yourself so that the background is clean and simple, or adjust your camera settings so that it is out of focus, depending on your requirements.

7. Complimentary Colors

Select the colors in your image carefully. There are many ways to capture an excellent photo with different color palettes. You may choose to include bright complimentary colors that balance nicely, a single hue that stands out alone, or many faded colors that create a peaceful landscape image.

8. Negative Space

You must choose whether you wish to have tons of negative space in the photo, some negative space, or if you would rather fill the entire frame with your subject. All three of these options will create a different look.

9. Unique Angles

Try something new to change up your style. Get down low to take a flower photo, or get as high as possible to capture the perfect aerial shot. Photos with unique viewpoints are interesting because they’re taken from angles that most people never see. Read our article, What’s Your Angle, for more tips.

10. Adding Depth

Take advantage of the foreground to add depth to your photos. Using elements located in the foreground to lead the eye into a photo is an excellent technique.

Remember to use your creative eye when lining up your shot – but don’t be too picky. Sometimes you have to break a few rules to capture the perfect image. Just be sure to keep in mind the best practices in photo composition.

Do you have any other tips to add? Leave us a comment below with your composition techniques.

Image credit: LookLagoon.com