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The Rules Of Photo Composition | SITS Summer Photography Challenge Day 1

By Jul 13, 20159 Comments

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You may not realize it, but every time you take a photo you are using composition. The composition is when you frame a subject to take a picture. How a photographer uses photo composition is individual and even artistic. No two photographers will compose an image the same way, but there are some guidelines and photography tips that will help you as you develop your personal style.

Photography Tips | These photo composition rules will help you improve your photography from using the rule of thirds to understanding leading lines, patterns, and more.

The Rules Of Photo Composition

These simple guidelines are used to take most photos but are not set in stone. Rather, they are suggestions to taking more beautiful and fascinating photos. Photo composition, done well, will guide the viewer’s eye through the image with balance.

1. The Rule of Thirds

A basic photography standard, the rule of thirds is a guide to creating a pleasing image. The first question to ask yourself is “what is my subject?” Once you know what you are photographing, imagine a grid of 9 squares. There are two vertical lines and two intersecting horizontal lines; similar to tic-tac-toe board. Most DSLR cameras have a grid feature on the view screen to help.

The rule of thirds says to place your subject where the lines intersect, but not in the center.

The rule of thirds is simple - image this grid when you are taking a picture. Try to line your subject up with one of the intersections instead of centering to add visual interest.

{ Quick Tip } Balance – Placing your subject off center can leave a blank space. Try to fill that space with a smaller element to create balance.

When practicing photo composition, try to avoid centering your subject. allow the eye to be drawn to different points in the photo.

2. Leading Lines

I love leading lines in photography because they are like an optical illusion. Lines can create amazing and fascinating images. They draw the eye naturally; leading us through the image. Different leading lines include all directions: horizontal, vertical, diagonal, curvy, etc.

Leading lines, regardless of the type of line, start at one end or edge of the frame and continue off the opposite side. We often see leading lines with roads and architecture photos.

In photography, leading lines help to direct the eye across the image.

3. Patterns, Texture, & Harmony

Patterns and texture make interesting images. Look for the unexpected. For instance, a pattern of red stars with one blue star can make for a pleasing photo.

Textures are great because you don’t need to capture the entire subject. The texture makes a perfect subject for a macro (close-up) image.

Find ways to break up the harmony of shapes by adding something unexpected. For example, a row of benches is broken up by a pair of bright yellow boots or a basket of eggs.

The photos below are beautiful examples of texture and pattern. The church buildings feature different types of texture in the siding. The stained glass windows are made with different shapes and patterns.

Church Stained Glass Window

Stained Glass Windows - Outside View

4. Viewpoint

Consider your position while taking a photo. Often capturing an image while looking up or down can change the composition from ordinary to amazing. Consider experimenting with your position to create the most captivating image.

Digital photography is ideal for experimenting with composition. It is also suited to breaking the rules. Guidelines are simply suggestions but the photographer determines the composition of an image. When taking photos, use these guidelines as suggestions but ultimately go with what works best for you.

SITS Summer Photo Challenge – Photo Composition

Take your blog photography to the next level with this two-week photography challenge from The SITS Girls. Full of great photography tips and helpful ideas to improve your photography, as well as the opportunity to connect with the community and get feedback on your images.

Now that you’ve learned about photo composition, let’s practice! Take several photos of one or more subjects. Take some photos with the subject in the center of the frame and others using the rule of thirds. Share at least one photo on your blog with the subject centered and one photo with the subject off-center using the rule of thirds. Tell us which photo you like best and why. You may also share your favorite photo on Instagram using the #SITSblogging hashtag, so we all can enjoy it. We can’t wait to see what you capture!

Link Up Your Photography Here

Share links to your photos in the below linky. You can add the link to a blog post, Instagram post, picture you uploaded to Flickr or even a Facebook page photo. No matter how you are participating in this challenge, we want to see your photos here!

Day 2 Photography Challenge Preview

Tomorrow we are going to tackle Mobile Photography, so get your cell phones charged!

About Tammi Young

Tammi was born and raised in Northern California as have her four children. She has owned and operated an internet service company for 13 years with her husband, working as the company accountant and human resources manager. She started her handmade jewelry business, French Robin Designs, in 2012 to work out her creativity and started blogging at French Robin not long after. She loves everything creative, especially DIY furniture renovation projects, fashion, and jewelry. You can always find Tammi visiting on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.