Questions tagged [composition-basics]

Composition basics are all about the 'rudimentary' techniques that photographers use to compose their pictures. Whether used alone, or in combination with one another, composition often makes the difference between 'good' photographs and 'great' ones.

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68
votes
9answers
67k views

What is the 'Golden Ratio' and why is it better than the 'Rule of Thirds?'

Somebody recently told me that I will be able to compose more pleasing pictures if I use the Golden Ratio instead of the Rule of Thirds, and that the Rule of Thirds was an inferior way to compose ...
46
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2answers
30k views

What is the Rule of Odds?

In furthering my reading on photographic composition I came across a compositional technique called the "Rule of Odds." What is the "Rule of Odds"? Why is it important? How do I apply it to my ...
45
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3answers
9k views

What is the “Rule of Thirds”?

Please can someone explain the "Rule of Thirds"? What is it? What does it tell me? Why is it important? What can I do with it?
44
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18answers
5k views

What are common beginner mistakes in photography?

What are common mistakes seen in images taken by beginning photographers? For example, a friend of mine pointed out that the horizon was not straight in one of my images, and now I see it everywhere!...
32
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4answers
6k views

What is the 'Diagonal Method' and should I use it instead of 'The Rule of Thirds?'

I recently was in a discussion with a photography mentor who asserted that over the years he has composed most of his award-winning and/or 'most popular' photographs using the 'Diagonal Method,' and ...
28
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2answers
2k views

What is Bakker's Saddle?

I was perusing a book called "Success in Print Competition for Professional Photographers" and one section referred to a composition technique called Bakker's Saddle. Three related questions: What is ...
26
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3answers
11k views

What is Lead Room?

Continuing to educate about basic compositional techniques, What is "Lead Room?" Why is it important to consider Lead Room when taking pictures? When do I apply it to my photography?
26
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5answers
2k views

How to create an eye-path?

Reading about photography, I have now and then stumbled on recommendations to "create a path for viewer's eye", or to "lead it through the picture" without any specific guidelines how to achieve that. ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

What is headroom as it relates to photographic composition?

With photographic composition I often hear people talk about 'leaving enough headroom' for portrait photographs. What is headroom? How can I properly apply it to my photographs? What are the ...
12
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3answers
2k views

When should I break the rule of thirds?

When photographers talk about the rule of thirds, they say sometimes they will break the rule and still the photo will have great composition. When should I stick with the rule of thirds and when ...
12
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3answers
693 views

What are other popular composition techniques in addition to The Rule of Thirds?

I always hear a lot about The Rule of Thirds. I'd like to know more about other 'tried-and-true' composition techniques (not special effects) that can make a photo more interesting. In particular, I'...
11
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4answers
2k views

What are connotations of horizontal and vertical lines in composition?

From my question on diagonal dominance I learned that diagonals are used in many subtle ways, like guiding viewer's eye, expressing depth or energy. How do horizontal and vertical lines affect viewer'...
9
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4answers
375 views

What kind of Compositional Elements are used in this pic?

I found this pic in internet and I really liked it. As having interest in photography, I was wondering what kind of composition rules was used in this pic, for example whether it is a contrast, ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What is diagonal dominance?

In another question, rule of Diagonal Dominance was mentioned. I had never heard of such rule, so I'd like to know... What is rule of diagonal dominance about? How to apply it in photography? When ...
7
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4answers
1k views

How can I get all of the text on a reflective surface (DVD case) in focus?

I've recently upgraded to a Nikon D3400 Single Lens Kit (18-55mm) from a Pentax Optio A10. Aside from family photos, I would also use the Pentax take photos of DVD cases (for listing on ebay) using ...
7
votes
3answers
311 views

Subject alongside, at the intersection or inside lines in composition rules?

I have been reading different articles on photo composition. These discuss rules of thirds, triangles, and golden ratio, each suggesting different and contradicting approaches. Some of them say to ...
7
votes
3answers
524 views

How can I compose city / cityscape shots to avoid distracting elements?

Too many of my travel photos look like this. The subject of the photo is obviously the church, but the random people and cars around it are quite annoying. The traffic light in front of the mosaic is ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I compose photos with prime lenses?

I own a Sony NEX-5R, with two prime lenses: 19mm F2.8 Sigma, and 35mm F1.8 Sony. How do I best compose photos with prime lenses like these? I can think of a few: Walk towards or away from the ...
5
votes
5answers
705 views

Advice for transitioning from landscape nature photography to portraits

I've been a hobbyist landscape photographer for 15 years. It's something that I love to do, but I'm either too busy or uninspired lately to go out shooting. I'd like to progress my love for ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How do triangles work as a tool for composition?

I've heard that triangles can be used as a tool in composition. Why would I pay attention to triangles, or structure an image around this shape? What particular significance do triangles have, ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

What is the “visual center” of an image?

I've heard that one of the tricks designers use for a more effective result is placing an object in the visual center. Where is the visual center in an image, why is it important, and how could it be ...
1
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2answers
598 views

What is the Rule of Equiangular Spiral Grid?

Could anyone explain what an equiangular spiral is? How does that grid affect focus or view of subject?
1
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4answers
533 views

Is there any software or phone camera app that can give advice about composition?

Is there any software/ phone camera app that can give advice about composition while shooting an image? Or would it be possible develop an app for that? For example, maybe giving advice about the ...
1
vote
0answers
214 views

How do I use a 4×4 viewfinder grid for composition?

I decided to use my Nokia N8 for photography with Camera Pro on it because of the tilt, GPS and compass capabilities along with the 5 photo exposure bracketing for postprocessing. But then this is ...
0
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4answers
6k views

Should I choose shutter speed or aperture first? [duplicate]

I am learning about photography and in process of that reading few books and online resources to get some basics. Currently i am reading "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson.While going through ...
-1
votes
1answer
408 views

Best tips for composition and learning composition? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Good books to learn photographic composition from? Can anyone suggest books/resources on the artistic side of photography? http://www.flickr.com/groups/visualstory/discuss/...
-2
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7answers
688 views

How do I make a landscape photo containing many important elements feel well composed?

On the question "Does this sunrise photograph have a problem with white balance?", there is a comment by Rob: I know this Q is not asking for image critique and although I like the image I think ...