Composition Matters

Composition. It’s something that we always incorporate into our photography, yet we never realize that we implement the rules of composition. For me, composition is about the skill of knowing how to seemingly fit each and every element of your scene into a photograph to make it seem stunning and perfectly done. We all experiment, don’t we ? We try and focus on our subject, change the angle or viewpoint we look at things, and even change our shutter speed and aperture in order to get those precious moments sharp and clear. According to, here are the ten major composition rules, and from my opinion, you will need to master the first nine to master the last rule – experimentation. Here are the ten rules and the pictures for each rule from the website. The link is attached below. (Note: The description is my own understanding of the rules.) No copyright intended.

Rule of Thirds – The fact that your subject is not exactly at the center point of the 3 x 3 grid but rather on the lines of the center square adds some balance and interest to the photograph.                      Lighthouse with rule of thirds grid

Balance – When you have your rule of thirds, you need something to ensure that your subject doesn’t become the only thing in the photo. Something needs to ensure the effect isn’t too big. That’s balance.Road sign with building behind

Leading Lines – Lines are something that really draw us into a photograph, which is why for my photo montage, where we are following the theme of motion, I am really focused on making lines and shapes. Going back to the topic, lines capture the eyes very well, especially when they are unique, Lines like zigzags, curves, and diagonals will really help in boosting the interest and therefore the composition of your photograph.                                Road winding through mountains

Symmetry and Pattern – Having an obvious focus point can bring about unexpected compositions, even if we think that symmetry is just plain boring. Objects  both natural and man made will produce some fancy photography.           Chapel entrance

Viewpoint – Often, we just decide to take things from their perspective at the front, which often gets boring. Take time to think about where you can get the most unique views that no one else can easily experience – just like what we touched on last quarter, where the unexpected brings upon curiosity towards photography. Think about a place which seems like Utopia and looks abstract; the leading lines, balance and patterns will naturally come into place.Man sitting on beach photographed from above

Background – Often the background interrupts with the balance of a photograph, because what is in the back often  influences where in the photograph we look.Therefore, finding a suitable background is key in creating a focus.  Female violinist

Depth – It something that we often lack, yet it makes it seem realistic, making us feel like we are actually in it ourselves. Layers also help in creating depth as the eye naturally thinks that depth is present.  Sheep in field will misty hills in the background

Framing – Focus is not always a key. Ensuring that the objects around us such as trees become the perfect frame for our photography. This also helps in “leaving the subject alone” and giving it more impact.Lake framed by hills either side

Cropping – Although this is more of an editing technique (for those that are “original” photographers), cropping helps eliminated the background, which is where that element comes into place. Cropping is technically not an editing technique anyways, in my opinion, because it’s just cutting the photo up and presenting a section of it, where we eliminate what we dislike and keep the focus alive.                                                Ceramic ornaments of characters hugging

Experimentation – With a modern age of photography constantly being on the rise, there is no worry about running out of film or having too less shots to experiment. Describing experimentation in three words ? Easy. TRY AND TRY. A balance of all nine is essential to know WHAT IS SUITABLE AND WHAT ISN’T. Only then can you do an effective type of experimentation.                               Lone tree in field illuminated with golden light

Now, let’s take a look at the photo montage. Composition really matters in a photo montage because we need to know what is the best place to place things into it to make it seem stunning, realistic and yet abstract. It needs to be perfectly fitted, and each and every element MUST be considered. That is why I defined composition as a art where you fit pieces together above; it’s just like cooking, where you mix and match with your ingredients and the different brands of food until you get that stunning combination of flavors that your adore. With photography, knowing what goes where helps enhance your message.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 What will you be composing  today ?


 “10 Top Photography Composition Rules.” Photography Mad. Photography Mad, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2015.

(For those that want the link:


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