9 Photo Composition Tips, As Seen in Photographs by Steve McCurry

Here’s a great video on photographic composition, created by The Cooperative of Photography using tips and photographs by legendary photojournalist Steve McCurry. Each of the 9 composition tips is illustrated with examples from McCurry’s impressive body of work.

Here are the 9 tips covered in the video:

  1. Rule of Thirds: Place points of interest on the intersections and important elements along the lines

  2. Leading Lines: Use natural lines to lead eyes into the picture

  3. Diagonals: Diagonal lines create great movement

  4. Framing: Use natural frames like windows and doors

  5. Figure to Ground: Find a contrast between subject and background

  6. Fill the Frame: Get close to your subjects

  7. Center Dominant Eye: Place the dominant eye in the center of the photo

  8. Patterns and Repetition: Patterns are aesthetically pleasing, but the best is when the pattern is interrupted

  9. Symmetry: Symmetry is pleasing to the eye

“Remember, the composition is important, but also rules are meant to be broken,” Steve McCurry says. “So the main point is to enjoy yourself while you’re photographing and photograph in your own way and your own style.”

You can find more photography content over in COOPH magazine and some neat photo gear in the COOPH online store.

Image credits: Video by COOPH, and example photographs by Steve McCurry