Compositional Techniques to Improve Your Photographs


A common compositional technique called framing entails employing scene pieces to enclose your subject. This may help to highlight your subject, but it can also give you background information and enable you to use your image to tell a narrative.
For instance, if you photograph the view from your bedroom window but exclude the window frame or any other element of the room, the viewer will not be able to tell that you were inside the room gazing out, and the photo will appear to be just another landscape or cityscape. Although this is only a simple illustration, there are countless other options. You may do the same task, for instance, by utilising a mirror, a bookcase, a doorway, or even the branches of a tree or shrub.

Leading lines

Lines are a great method to add depth to a picture, direct the viewer’s eyes through it, and call attention to the main subject of interest in your shot.
Leading lines might be straight, curved, vertical, or diagonal. You might notice leading lines in your own home in places like a window pane, a staircase, or even a long table. Spend a moment observing the scene in front of you before shooting a picture to identify any lines that may be there and consider how you may use them in your composition.


Given that symmetry and balance are things that people are naturally drawn to, symmetry can be an effective compositional technique. The best illustration of this is a still lake that is reflecting the scenery above it; the lake divides the scene into two halves, but the two parts are practically similar to one another.
However, there are other methods to apply symmetry to produce visuals that are more captivating or eye-catching. For instance, you might take a picture of someone next to their reflection in a window or a mirror, or you might chop an apple in half and take a picture of the two sides.

Negative space

The term “negative space” in photography describes the unfilled spaces in an image, such as the sky or other surfaces like a blank wall, a long length of floor, or other empty background. Whether you want to convey calm and tranquilly or a sense of mystery, leaving negative space can assist your main subject stand out and also trigger particular emotions.
However, it’s crucial to be familiar with this compositional method so you’ll be prepared to use it when the opportunity arises. Of course, leaving a lot of negative space won’t always be the greatest or only option accessible to you.

Fill the frame

Contrary to employing negative space, filling the frame necessitates getting as near as you can to your subject. This method eliminates any potential distractions from an image and is particularly helpful if you’re trying to take a picture of something against a busy or cluttered background, such as a cluttered living room or a messy kitchen.
It’s also a wonderful choice when photographing people, as it enables you to record crucial details like facial characteristics and ensures that the subject’s eyes are the centre of attention.

Use contrast

Contrasting components in an image allow you to create a stronger visual impression, therefore contrast may also be used in composition. Tonal contrast and colour contrast are the two most frequent types of contrast you’ll see in photographs, but textures and shapes can also lend contrast to an image.
Contrast between concepts, on the other hand, is more arbitrary and is dependent on ideas. It entails combining two or more items that you wouldn’t often expect to see in the same picture, such as old vs. new or artificial vs. natural.

Use shadows

Many of the compositional strategies we’ve already covered can be employed with shadows in photography, such as adding depth, texture, and contrast to a picture. They can also aid in highlighting particular elements in your photographs and provide an air of drama or mystery.
Make it a habit to take in a scene for a few seconds before you start shooting if you want to start incorporating shadows into your compositions. Consider where the light is coming from and how you may take use of this. You might observe, for instance, that a person sitting close is developing intriguing patterns as a result of the sunshine coming in through the shutters.

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