Simple Techniques that Can Help Beginners in Photography Understand the Composition

A Post By: Hpusn Official

Perhaps when you first started to travel, you heard other photographers describe that before the actual shooting, you need to see the lens in your mind, of course, this still needs to take more shots and composition, in order to slowly achieve. I will describe this “method” in more detail. I will also provide some useful tips to train your eyes when viewing or not using the camera, or the scene of the head map, and how to edit later.

The composition is about the balance of the elements in the photo so that it includes tone and texture. This is Why would what separates a snapshot from a great shot. If you need to get a good composition, you need to plan, and you should check the placement of each element before shooting.

Create a Good Composition
  • Q: How to create a good composition?
    A: Place your subject on the left or right side of the center. For portraits, the eyes should be above the centerline.

The good in the photo is likely to follow the composition rules. I chose five of them and described how they work. I prefer to call them principles or guidelines. There are actually more rules, but these five points It is a good starting point, it will be very useful.

Cut-out cardboard frame for training your eye to see.
You Can Train Your Eyes with Cut-out Cardboard Frame

Maybe you wonder why you use a cardboard to practice. Let’s go back to the lens or frame the scene. It will replace your camera lens. You can watch all this in front of you through the cardboard. You can feel the most real feeling if the scene in front of you is in the cardboard box in your hand. effect? Although it will work strangely, please believe it is interesting.

Cut out a frame from cardboard or any material you want as long as it’s a rectangle. See above.

You could equally use your hands, but I think cardboard photo frames will be more real.

Finger Photo Frame, Framing Your Shot Using Hands.

When your finger becomes a photo frame, you will find that your field of vision becomes smaller and eliminates many interference items, so as to find the main focus. This is the focus of the viewer’s silver mirror. This simple exercise will help you train the eye knight for better observation and composition. Remember to try multiple angles and don’t forget to lie down and observe the starry sky in this way.

Ordinary Scenes Can Also be Very Interesting

Try to use this metal bridge as an example, a very ordinary scene, but you can discover the potential of shooting interesting shots through the cardboard frame. Then bring it into your post-editing software to create more interesting texture snapshots.

In addition, I recommend that you can visit the local art museum and watch the works of some great artists. If there is no art museum nearby or in the local area, you can also choose to go to the library to read the works of great art masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Etc. Masters in photography: Henri Cartier-Bresson and Ansel Adams, and Etc. Take a look at how professional master artists are framing, how their elements are arranged and placed, the sight of the characters, the color, and texture of the picture, Etc.

To improve your composition, you must insist on seeing and thinking. Observe more things in life, and arrange what you see in your eyes.

Beginners can first try to understand the following 5 points, which will be a good starting point. Then use the camera to practice:

Step 1. Rule of Thirds

Regarding Rule of Thirds, you may have heard that This is an actual formula based on mathematical principles of harmony and proportion. It has been used by artists for centuries. So think of your photo with imaginary lines that are drawn dividing the image into thirds both horizontally and vertically. You place important elements of your composition where these lines intersect. Similar to a tic-tac-toe game.

Photography Thirds Looks
How the rule of thirds looks like. Where the lines intersect are the points in which to place your elements.

Step 2. Rule of Odds

This name may seem strange, but it is to express that our brain is looking for symmetry and uniformity. Because of this principle, it is thought that elementary objects with cardinalities in images will be more interesting and photos will be more pleasant. Now one, three, or five odd-numbered elements will be better than two.

Photography Rule of Odds
Odd numbers of elements are more pleasing and interesting than even ones.

Step 3. Lines

The composition requires keeping the horizontal lines level and vertical lines straight. Especially shoot landscapes, seascapes, and cityscapes, Etc. The landscape is extremely important when taking photos. Leading lines are also very effective for drawing the viewer to where the focal point is.

Photography Lines

Step 4. Color and Textures

Color and textures are a great way to demonstrate good composition.

Photography Color and Textures

Step 5. Negative Space

This is an abstract concept which describes the space around your subject, otherwise known as ‘white space’, that draws your eye to it.
It is mainly used to emphasize a theme, make the main object or general object free up space, it seems not so crowded, so that the object can “breathe” and thus show it. This is like a vague way for Beijing to emphasize a certain theme.

Photography depends not only on observation and endurance, but also on creativity, because the rules are not strictly followed.

In the pictures of the puzzle pieces, although I made them symmetrical, I used colors as contrasting elements. And do not place them in the middle to make the photo look more comfortable

Photography Negative Space
When I used two elements, I chose to use color contrast and rule of thirds to construct this picture. Visually, this is a comfortable and good composition.
  • Some laws or rules are actually just a point of reference for learning. What’s more important is more thinking and creativity in shooting and composition. A good work is inseparable from its own, but also from an excellent photographer.

Now, take out our camera. Most DSLR cameras have built-in grid lines, and some have virtual horizons and spirit levels. If your camera does not yet have these features, then you can choose to add auxiliary tools, such as installing the level on the hot shoe or using the focus point in the viewfinder.

You can also choose to use a tripod to help shoot composition, making the picture more stable and creative. Browse the viewfinder to see the elements in the frame. Then leave the camera and look at the scene you selected with both eyes, then return to the viewfinder, recompose the shot, and shoot again.

Repeated practice can improve your understanding of shooting and make you shoot better compositions. Don’t expect to be able to shoot good works in one breath. Practice more and try more.

This is the last step, but it is not the most important step, which is the post-crop editing image. Regardless of whether you use Photoshop, Camera Raw, or Lightroom, cropping photos will enable you to have a better composition principle.

You can easily straighten the curved horizon in the crop tool, or use the “lens correction” filter in Photoshop to eliminate the barrel distortion in the building, or greatly change the image directly from the original picture taken. All these edits can be done without loss, so you can enjoy shooting and working on your own work!

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