Lesson 2: Rules of Composition
You have learned the settings of our camera and how to get the proper exposure. Aperture affects the depth of field of a photograph, ISO the amount of light allowed to reach the sensor, and shutter speed is the amount of time the shutter stays open to allow light to reach the sensor. All three factors affect the exposure of your photograph.
Now that we have exposure covered, let us discuss the rules of composition. Composition is something you need to consider before you release the shutter and take your photograph. You want to choose what will make it into your photo, and, more importantly, what will not make it into your photo. The result is a story told by a still image.
Before we continue, you should know that what is discussed in this lesson are rules, and some may say that rules are meant to be broken. This is true. However, before you break these rules you should thoroughly understand and master them.
Photography Composition Techniques
- The Time of Day
The easiest thing to do is to pull your camera out, put the viewfinder to your eye, and click to capture the escaping moment. However, most things in life are difficult. So, don’t take the easy way out and try to look for a new perspective on a shot. Move away from the crowds that are always getting the same shot. Crouch down to show your subject from an ant’s view to show its massive structure. Go up to a bird’s eye view to get a commanding view of your subject. These will allow for fresh and original shots of your travel experiences. Use the right perspective to show your feeling of the subject. Experiment with this and see what you can create.
The Rule of Thirds
If you have studied a little bit of photography for, this most likely came up. If you follow the rule of thirds in your photography, it will not doubt be aesthetically pleasing to the human eye.
To do this, you need to separate your image using two equally-spaced, parallel, horizontal lines and two equally-spaced, parallel, vertical lines. Thus providing you with a frame of nine rectangles of the same size. This is where you begin to frame your shot before you take it.
If you separate your shot in three sections both vertically and horizontally, you are given 9 rectangles to shape your shot from. Your main subject that is meant to capture the viewer’s attention is meant to intersect with one of these lines. Horizons should show 1/3 or 2/3 along the photo. They should not be in the middle of the photo. Experiment with these lines and see what you can create. This rule can be broken, so don’t think you need to always do this. Accept it as a general rule and let your artistic mind guide your shooting.
You want your main subject to be in one of the intersections of these lines. Therefore, your subject should not be perfectly centered, but off to one of the sides where these lines intersect.
This is an important part of your photos. Getting the right lighting for your shot is vital to the mood you are trying to convey. The hour during sunrise and sunset are the golden hours for photography. Those are the times that you need to take advantage of for your perfect landscape photograph. These hours will give you the best lighting and they will help you create a powerful image. Take advantage of these time frames as they will come and go very quickly, and you may not be given another chance. Are you not an early riser? Then stay up all night for that sunrise to come. It will be well worth it for that incredible photograph you will be rewarded with.
These are three photography composition techniques we could come up with for you photography enthusiasts. They are important for the composition of your photo. However, do not think you must abide by these rules at all times. Use your artistic judgement when you can and create a masterpiece of your own. Use these rules as guidelines, and then go from there. Stay tuned for more travel photography tips coming in the future. We would love to hear what you have to add to these three tips about composition in travel photography or what you would like to see us discuss in the future.
Lesson 1: Why Digital Photography?
Lesson 1: Choosing the Right Camera
Lesson 2: Lenses for Your Camera
Lesson 3: Accessories and Gear
Lesson 4: Knowing Your Equipment
Lesson 1: Exposure
Lesson 2: Rules of Composition
Lesson 3: Composition Continued
Lesson 1: Website and Blog
Lesson 2: Social Media
Lesson 3: Promote and Sell Your Work
Lesson 1: Continuing with Your Photography