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composition
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Photography Composition Basics Every Photographer Needs To Know
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Photography Composition Basics Every Photographer Needs To Know

Whether you’re a moderately experienced photographer looking for a digital photography review to get up to speed or you’re still learning photography composition basics, composition is something that you’ll hear a lot about. In case you’re unclear about the term, composition refers to how subjects are positioned relative to their background and how shots can be framed differently to produce different results.

One thing you’ll notice in amateur photographs is that they’re usually center focused, with the subject being positioned in the center of the frame. Even though there’s nothing necessarily wrong with this, it often means a photograph which is lacking in excitement. Viewers are usually drawn away, not towards, symmetry in photographs.

Photography Composition Basics And The Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a very simple but effective tool which is one of the photography composition basics that every photographer should know. It involves looking at your frame as being divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically. The points where these lines converge tend to draw the eye; and by incorporating this knowledge into your composition, you’ll create more interesting photos which most people will spend more time looking at.

Landscape Photography

One bit of knowledge which belongs in any digital photography review is that although the rule of thirds is also applicable to landscape photos, there are some adjustments which need to be made. The horizon is something that landscape photographers need to be conscious of – and avoid placing in the center of their photographs. Unless you have a particular reason for it, the line of the horizon should be in the top 1/3 of the frame rather than the center. If you want to showcase the sky or distant background features, then move the horizon to 7/8, but keep it out of the center of the frame.

Becoming a great photographer takes a lot of practice as well as understanding photography composition basics, so practice every chance that you get. As an example of how much composition can become second nature, take James Nachtwey, the renowned photojournalist. On the morning of September 11th, 2001, Nachtwey rushed from his apartment by the South Street Seaport to the World Trade Center, arriving just as the south tower collapsed and without thinking, aimed and shot a few pictures which are perfectly composed. While you may not aspire to be a professional photojournalist, this is something which can be learned and with enough practice, you can become a natural composer, too.


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