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Composition Methods in Photography

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An image stands out in the way the central subject and peripheral elements are portrayed in the frame and how the colours and perspective communicate the theme of the photograph effectively. Everything about a good photograph follows the perfect agreement of multiple components of a shot with the composition of the picture.

A photography school teaches composition as the placement of relative objects and elements in a frame. The rules and techniques of composition affect the quality of an image in terms of visual balance and comprehension. Often the impact of a picture gets lost owing to a small shift in the position of an important element or by the presence of unimportant details. Photography training courses groom students with the skill in deploying an effective strategy for good composition. It is often quick, tactful and backed by a good amount of experience, which is why essentially, practice makes compositions perfect.

There are a few methods of setting composition that are basic in photography courses. These are open to adaptation for every shot and innovative combinations make unique photographs possible. In some cases, with digital techniques to edit pictures, it is possible to set composition even for photos that lack perfection at that.

Let’s explore a few effective and widely practised methods of composition.


Having Frames Within Frames


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Often, photographers come across the possibility of having a smaller frame in the main frame he/she captures. For example, if the photographer is clicking a side-view of a train compartment, each window can look like a frame in itself. This is true about clicking houses and photo walls.

The range of subject matter captured using framing technique gives a greater depth and variety to the total frame.


Using Rule of Thirds


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The rule of thirds is a widely used concept in photography. It technically is about the presence of a subject at any or more of the intersections of imaginary lines that divide the picture into three blocks horizontally and vertically.

This technique affords to include more than one subject in a particular frame. Practising the rule of thirds is basic in composition study in photography classes as it has a wide application and is seen in many works of art too.


Capturing Reflection and Repetition


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Establishing subject emphasis is a major advantage in applying the concept of repetition in a frame. For example, shooting an array of houses, all similar in build and appearance, can establish a pattern in the eyes of the viewer. It is a strong element in appreciating the subject of a photograph.

Capturing a subject with reflection also induces the same effect of repetition. So is the presence of a shadow, which adds depth to the image and enhances the subject remarkably.


Cropping the Frame


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Many a picture is shot with a lot of background elements that may not contribute to the relevance of the main subject. Cropping the unwanted elements flanking the main subject keeps the frame filled with the subject with focus completely on it. It helps to practically portray the subject without any sort of distraction.


Lead Eyes with Leading Lines


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Leading lines practically guide the eyes of the viewer towards an intended object or the central subject in the frame. A good example is railroad photography. It’s the type of composition that has imaginary leading lines.

It is also possible that the picture literally has some visual cue that acts as a leading line. An example is the picture “Gypsies” by Josef Koudelka.


Enhanced by the Contrast


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Utilising contrast to vividly portray the subjects in a frame is a good way to create striking and apparently sharp pictures. Contrast is also the accentuating feature, especially in black and white photography.

Perfecting skills in composition completes the essential requirements for a photographer, that photography students acquire at a photography training institute.

The most famous and revered photographs in the world have excellent composition, the creation of which is a constant matter of study. With a simple frame and more definitive perspective, the various methods of composition bring out unique and remarkable results. Mastery over composition leads to building a very fruitful photographic profile, that can earn a photographer the recognition and career growth he/she deserves.

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