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Tips for Improving your Composition

Tips and Inspiration

08 April 2017

Posted by Ranjit Dhaliwal

Composition, where the subject appears in the photograph, is a key element of photography. How you frame a subject with the camera can give you excellent results even if the subject matter appears superficial or dull. Here are 5 simple techniques you can apply, that with a little practice won’t leave you feeling overwhelmed by complex terminology and hopefully improves your confidence with the camera.

1. START WITH LANDSCAPE/HORIZONTAL POSITION

One of the most common starting points for people taking a photograph is to hold the camera in the upright or portrait position. Portait can be quite a difficult technique to perfect, often taking years of experience for professionals to get the desired results. A much easier default is to begin your shot holding the camera in the horizontal/landscape position.

Igarassu, Pernambuco, Brazil, August 14, 2015: Young girl with camera

Igarassu, Pernambuco, Brazil, August 14, 2015: Young girl with camera Read less

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Fabiano Mesquita dos Santos

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2. AVOID THE MIDDLE

Often the first reflex with taking a photograph is to position the subject dead center in the middle of the viewfinder. Instead, move the camera slightly to either side with your subject off-center and allow a fuller scene to reveal itself. This allows more elements to come into play in your photography.

People walking from the staircase to the platform towards Eiffel Tower in Paris viewed in silhouette with yellow colour of sky in the background

People walking from the staircase to the platform towards Eiffel Tower in Paris viewed in silhouette with yellow colour of sky in the background Read less

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Arhamnly

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3. FOLLOW AND CREATE LINES

When shooting outdoors, lines are an excellent tool for guiding the eye within the frame and maintaining the focal point. Lines exist everywhere. These can include walls, telegraph wires, plough lines, kerbs and fences. Positioning a subject to converge to the end of a line or adjacent to a line can give your image an interesting effect without leaving the viewer disorientated.

Taken in Berlin somewhere...

Taken in Berlin somewhere... Read less

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valsdarkroom

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4. REDUCE CAMERA SHAKE

The camera is sensitive to your movement and even small reactions may affect the final result of your image. Try and position yourself as still and comfortably as possible, including your breathing. Many professionals hold their breath when taking a perfect shot! A simple technique is to lean your body (discreetly if possible) against a solid object such as a wall or static object.

Photographer

Photographer Read less

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Matěj Šmucr

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5. EXPERIMENT

You fail with 100% of the photographs you don’t take. Photography is fun, experimental and imagery can be interpreted in a thousand different ways. Don’t be afraid to take pictures that you didn’t think would make a good photograph at the time, these can often produce good results!

A man in a cowboy hat drives a classic car through Havana ,Cuba

A man in a cowboy hat drives a classic car through Havana ,Cuba Read less

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Andy

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