Photo Composition Part 1

Photo Composition Part 1

What is photo composition and how can you use it to your advantage when taking photographs? We’re going to cover the topic in today’s article! As you’re probably aware, there are no unbreakable rules when it comes to photography, you’re pretty much free to take photos in whichever way you want, but there are certainly little tips and guidelines which you can follow that will improve and enhance your quality of photography. So, in this blog post, we’re going to talk you through the most basic guidelines to the most complex of all, but first of all, let’s start with the term photo composition and what it actually means.

What Does Photo Composition Mean? - Composition refers to the way the various elements in a scene are arranged within the frame. As we’ve previously mentioned, these are not necessarily rules, they’re more like guidelines and it’s recommended that you abide by them for the best results throughout your images. Many of them have been used in art for thousands of years and they really do help achieve more attractive compositions. Let’s start with the most well-known composition technique, the rule of thirds.

#1. The Rule Of Thirds - The rule of thirds is very simple. You divide the frame into 9 equal rectangles, 3 across and 3 down. Many camera manufacturers have actually included the capability to display this grid in live view mode, so, this will make it so much easier for you to achieve this composition by pressing one button! The idea is to place the important element(s) of the scene along one or more of the lines or where the lines intersect. We have a natural tendency to want to place the main subject in the middle. Placing it off centre using the rule of thirds will more often than not lead to a more attractive composition. You can apply this method when taking group shots from a distance or maybe a table setting before the wedding reception or a close up of the rings e.c.t  

#2. Centred Composition & Symmetry – The second photo composition that we are going to talk about is known as centred composition & symmetry. This is the type of composition where the subject is placed in the middle of the frame. There are times when placing a subject in the centre of the frame works really well. Symmetrical scenes are perfect for a centred composition. They look really well in square frames too. This is usually used for wedding portraits A.K.A portrait photography and in some closer group photographs of the wedding party.

#3. Foreground & Depth - Including some foreground interest in a scene is a great way of adding a sense of depth to the scene. Photographs are 2D by nature. Including foreground interest in the frame is one of a number of techniques to give the scene a more 3D vibe to it. This type of imagery can be applied to the close ups and detailed shots, if you angle the camera just right, you could capture an image with a bouquet of flowers in the foreground or perhaps the details of the Bride’s wedding gown? You can get really creative with this one!

#4. Frame Within the Frame – A frame within a frame is another photo composition worth trying. Including a ‘frame within the frame’ is another effective way of portraying depth in a scene. Look for elements such as windows, arches or overhanging branches to frame the scene with. The frame does not necessarily have to surround the entire scene to be effective, sometimes a tree branch over hanging half the photo will do the trick, look out for suitable scenery to work with and go from there!

#5. Leading Lines - Leading lines help lead the viewer through the image and focus attention on important elements. Anything from paths, walls or patterns can be used as leading lines. Leading lines do not necessarily have to be straight. In fact, curved lines can be very attractive com-positional features. You can use this photo composition around the wedding venue, especially if it’s out in the sticks! There will more than likely be some sort of long pathway outside of the church or venue or something that you could use to achieve this composition within your images. To achieve most if not all of these compositions, a tripod would be really useful to you as a wedding photographer. We recommend that you carry one with you as part of your equipment kit.

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Photo + editing credit: All images in this blog post edited by the team here at Weddit and photographed by Lukas Griffin. To get started with our wedding photo editing service, you can create an account here.

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