Intro to Composition

Composition is a tricky thing… for some a life long pursuit.  Yet, if you take lots of photo and start to look at them with a critical eye, reflecting on what is working well and what is not, you will get better.  Knowing the vocabulary of the photographic medium will give us a shared understanding of what and how to talk about photos with each other, in class and out.

Kodak Guidelines for Better Photographic Composition:

  • Simplicity

  • Rule of Thirds

  • Lines

  • Balance

  • Framing

  • Avoiding Mergers

  • Also know Cropping,


    If your shot is in danger of losing impact due to a busy background/surroundings, crop in tight around your main point of focus, eliminating the background so all attention falls on your main subject. This works particularly well with portraits when you’re trying to capture something more intimate and focused or are shooting in a busy location where what’s around them would just cause a distraction. Filling the frame could involve you capturing them from the waist up or for more impact, fill the frame with just their face. Patterns are another subject that when capturing, you should fill the frame with, aligning it up carefully to ensure it’s straight.

  • Don’t Cut Off Limbs

    Keep an eye on the edges of your frame to make sure the person/animal you’re photographing hasn’t had any of their body parts chopped off by it. Cutting off your cat’s tail, your dog’s ears or even part of your model’s head, will not only spoil your shot, the unintentional limb chopping can pull attention away from what the viewer should really be looking at.

  • Allowing for movement…


Below are two articles on photographic composition



10rules photocomposition