Basic Composition Techniques

Seeing and organising your picture is as important
as the technical knowledge

What are the basic composition techniques you can employ to create an interesting and engaging image?

Having a good command of your camera's various controls is only part of the answer. Taking a good image also demands a little creativity, skilled observation and knowledge of the basic composition techniques so that you can release the extraordinary from the ordinary in any scene.

When we talk of composition we are mainly concerned with how to arrange the subjects in an image and how to translate what our eyes see into a photograph.

It is important to understand that the camera sees things very differently than the human eye, and in order to create great photographs you need to be aware of what that means and learn to take it into account when taking images.

Often in their first steps in photography, people encounter two main challenges.

The first one is to open their eyes for the things around them so that they do not just take familiar scenes for granted but instead start to notice all the visual elements they contain - shapes, textures, colours and situations.

Imogen_Cunningham_Mills_College_amphitheater_1920    Boat_on_Loch_Goil     Imogen_Cunningham_Ishvani_Hands_1962      Advertisement_stairs


"It is the photographer's job to see more intensely than most people do. He must keep in him of the child who looks at the world for the first time or of the traveller who enters a strange country." -Bill Brandt

To help you develop your skills of observation and how to put certain features in the subject you intend to photograph to good effect, explore the following topics:

The second challenge is how to put the camera in the right place at the right time and how to organise your picture to create an effective image out of any of these subjects.

Here we are mainly concerned with developing your skills on basic composition techniques and learning how to select the interesting and unusual from what you see around you:

Henry_Vartier_Bresson_Behind_Gare_St.Lazare_1932       road_steep_pespective       warzone

By the end of it all you would have learned what are the essential rules of composition, how to effectively use them, and when to break them...

Basic Composition Techniques

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