10 Rules to Follow When Composing a Photo

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Keep It Simple

Very rarely in life is “more is better” a good idea. The same applies to photography.

Not only does simplifying the scene mean that there are fewer moving parts for you to get right, but it also gives the viewer a break too.

Rather than being distracted by a bunch of different elements, a simplified composition allows the viewer to engage more easily with the primary subject.

The question is, how do you simplify the scene?

As was done in the image above, select a strong subject – something that stands out in the scene because of its size, shape color, texture, and so forth.

Then frame the subject in a way that ensures viewers can’t miss it. If need be, crop out other elements of the scene.

In this case, the woman is obviously the subject, but the colors and textures of the surrounding landscape contribute to a stronger composition but without distracting attention from the woman.

Fill the Frame

An easy way to create a more impactful composition (while keeping it simple as well) is to fill the frame with your subject.

Filling the frame gives a photo more impact because it eliminates all the clutter around it that might distract the viewer’s eye.

What’s more, filling the frame brings the subject to life, making it look and feel bigger in the shot, like the zebra in the image above.

There are several ways to fill the frame, including zooming in with your lens, getting closer to the subject by changing your shooting position, and cropping the image in post-processing.

In any case, filling the frame is a more unique way to compose a shot, and as a result, it will be immediately more interesting to view.

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