What exactly constitutes this artistic aspect of photography? If you are a keen learner of photography, you must have heard of the term, "composition". Composition is one way of looking at the creative side of photography. What exactly is "composition"? In simple words, one can say that "composition" refers to the arrangement of the subject and other objects in your photograph so that they all come together to produce a bigger picture. As mentioned in a previous article, the composition of your photograph can either be visually distracting or appealing. Making sure that your photograph attracts viewers is where composition plays a critical role in understanding the creative side of photography.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Explore your sceneTry different viewpoints. Does the subject stand out better if you shoot in portrait mode versus landscape? Maybe you should back up a few feet and see how the scene in front of you molds into something completely different. Or, how about climbing up that ladder and capturing your subject from above? Is your subject shorter than you? It would help to stoop down to their eye level and then capture the image you have in mind. The key is to move around and look at the scene/subject from every possible angle till you get your "Eureka!" or "Aha!" moment.
2. Rule of ThirdsIf you haven't already heard of the Rule of Thirds, then you are in for a treat! The Rule of Thirds is by far the easiest composition technique that may improve your images immensely. To apply the Rule of Thirds, visually divide your frame into nine equal parts with the help of two imaginary horizontal lines and two imaginary vertical lines. If you are smartphone savvy, you will have noticed this grid while taking photos with your camera phone. The same applies while shooting with a point-and-shoot or DSLR. Instead of capturing your subject head on and positioning it in the center of your frame, try to position your subject such that it lies near the intersection of these lines or in the same direction as them. Take, for example, the horizon. Usually, you want your horizon to line up with the imaginary horizontal lines in the frame. Try it out, experiment with the rule, and you will surely be hooked!
3. Leading LinesLines in a photograph grab the viewer's attention. Positioning your subject between two converging lines will automatically lead the viewer's eyes to the subject. Bingo! Ever wondered why that photograph of a road in the center disappearing into the horizon seems so common yet intriguing? That's right. The road acts as a leading line which moves your eyes from the front of the photograph to the back, leaving you with a sense of awe.
4. SymmetryTalking about the road in the center, you may notice another aspect of such a photograph which has you captured. It is symmetry! Often, symmetrical images appear quite appealing to the eye. Photographers sometimes wait to get the perfect symmetrical reflection of the mountains in the lake. It isn't always an easy task and capturing the symmetry in a scene can be a challenge, but one that may lend a fresh perspective to your image.
5. SimplifyMore than once, we find ourselves at a standstill in our photography. We feel that to be able to produce extraordinary photographs, we have to try something extraordinary. That isn't always the solution. Many a time, the best of photographs have come about as a result of simplicity. Instead of complicating the scene and trying to fit in a lot of things into one frame, try simplifying. Break down the scene in front of you and capture the details. Capture one thing at a time and you will be astounded by how alluring the photograph appears with a subject on its own rather than with it being amongst other secondary subjects.
Next time you are out and about, remember to move about and explore your scene. Try to use the Rule of Thirds, look for leading lines and symmetry, and if inspiration doesn't strike, stop a moment and simplify!
Written by Priyanshi Sheth
"Namaste!" from a creative, Indian soul who aims to keep herself motivated as she writes, travels, photographs, and thereby, shares her knowledge.