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Photography Guide- How to Apply the Principle of Design in Photography

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The principle of design is present in everything. Without the application of these principles, any piece of art is incomplete. In order to add an interesting touch to your composition, it is important to apply these principles in the right way.

There are five principles of design. When and how to apply these principles is something that students learn in photography classes. It is very important to know how to use these principles in order to achieve the desired results.

Read this article to know what are the five principles and how to apply these in photography.


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Balance is one of the most important elements of design. It can be defined as adding a sense of visual balance to a layout.  Balance can be categorized into three types.

Symmetrical Balance: Symmetrical balance like the name says is maintaining an equal balance on both sides.

Asymmetrical Balance: Asymmetrical balance is when the elements on both sides are different but give the illusion of the same weight. This can be worked by using colours, shapes, textures, etc.

In order to achieve a visual balance in your photograph, pay keen attention to features. Make sure the layout has equal elements.


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Contrast is about elements that are totally different. A photo may have contrast in the form of colours, shapes, textures, etc. Adding contrast in the right proportion can work really well, however, overuse of it can also destroy the look. The best way to add contrast is to work with backgrounds. If a certain element in the foreground has to be highlighted, play around with light to get the look.

Photography is a subject that needs lots of practice. Of late, there are photography institutes that are emphasizing on developing skills through site visits, live sessions, etc. This practical exposure to students helps them to enhance their skills.


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Emphasis is basically highlighting a particular subject in a photograph. Every photograph must have a ‘focal point’. When clicking the subject, try and lay the focus on what you want to highlight the most. For example, in a landscape photo, you may want to highlight a waterbody. A sharp focus on it and surely catch the attention of the viewer.
When taking up a photography course, a student gets an opportunity to learn the subject in-depth and apply in real-life scenario.




There has to be movement in every photograph. It’s the way the eyes move from one subject to another. Movement can be achieved through static elements. A picture must be clicked in such a way that there’s a smooth transition from one frame to another.


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Repetition may sometimes be boring. However, if done in a certain way, it can form an interesting pattern. Repeating certain elements in a photo can add an interesting look. Play around with different patterns, textures and colours to bring out the best effect.




For any photograph to look pleasing to the eye, all the elements must be in harmony with each other. Right from the placement of the subject to colours of the foreground and background, everything must be smooth.

Once you apply the principles of design in your photography, you can actually see a different result. So, here’s your chance to learn and apply the same.

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