composition

Frame Within a Frame in Landscape Photography

What is the most common compositional rule in photography? Most likely your answer is the rule of thirds. Undoubtedly, this is a very powerful technique to compose an appealing photograph, but is it the only way? Of course not.

A Poker Hand Ranking of Street Photo Compositions

I thought I'd have a bit of fun when out shooting the street, so I started naming my street compositions according to winning hands when playing cards. So from a truly exceptional hand (a brilliant composition filled with complexity) to the simplest card (a simple snapshot of a straightforward subject).

Leading Lines in Photography: A Complete Guide

“You don't take a photograph, you make it,” Ansel Adams once said. Great point, but let's take it a step further. An important thing to remember is that photographs are just a type of picture, and pictures are made of lines.

The Key Elements of Composition: Light and the Relationships of Forms

Photographers, from beginners to the most experienced, search for ways to improve their compositions. To be successful in your search, you have to compose an image based on two things above all else: light, and the relationships of forms.

photographer with camera and lens

When Composing a Photo, Think About Where the Camera Is

As a photographer, you might be out on the street or at a vantage point in the landscape. You raise the viewfinder to your eye, compose the framing that you envisioned, then click the shutter. You have a picture that was acquired using the technical elements at your creative disposal: focal length, shutter speed, and aperture. But where was the camera?

Rule of Thirds in Photography: A Complete Guide

The rule of thirds is widely considered to be one of the most important first techniques you can learn to create better compositions and help you progress from “taking pictures” to “making photographs.”

Negative Space: How to Add Something with Nothing

Negative space is a powerful concept in art and photography that allows you to say a lot with very little. In this article, we will look at the basics of negative space and how you can use it as a tool for creative and powerful photo compositions.

How the Rule of Thirds Kills Creativity and Leads to Boring Photos

The most common method to teach photographic composition to novices is the "rule of thirds" — in short, divide the screen into equal thirds vertically and horizontally, and then place your point of interest on any of the cross points for a maximally pleasing image.

The Fundamental Building Blocks of Interesting Photos

My particular interest in photography aims for hitting certain notes in the image, regardless of content. So whether I’m shooting landscapes or my garden, friends at a party, or my kids on vacation, I’d say the approach is consistent.

8 Useful Ways to Describe and Measure Your Photos

A leading textbook on creative photography, released in 1980, devotes more than 90% of its 460 pages to technical considerations — how cameras and lenses work, darkroom procedures, lighting — and just a few pages to aesthetics and composition.

A Bright Idea for Subject Placement in Portrait Photos

With careful composition and editing techniques, you can take your portrait game to the next level. In this video, I'll show how you can level up your portraits with this one simple tip.

Composing Photographs Across a Double Page Spread

If I can afford to, I always try to spend time in shops where I know there is a good selection of photo books. The books offer me inspiration for my photographs as well as the way I present my own work in printed publications.

What a ‘Normal’ Person Sees vs. What a Photographer Sees

Photographer Manny Ortiz loves finding perfect portrait situations in everyday places -- locations most people probably wouldn't think of using for a photo shoot. Here's a short video in which Ortiz compares how "normal" people see the world vs how photographers see it.

How To Get Super-Sharp Photos Every Time, With Any Camera

As a professional photographer, I use a lot of different cameras. At any given time, I can use really expensive full-frame cameras combined with the best glass money can buy, to mid-range cameras with kit lenses, all the way down to even compact cameras that fit in my pocket.