Composition in photography
Now that we have dealt with the technical part in general terms, it’s time to talk about such a thing as composition. In a nutshell, composition in photography is the mutual arrangement and interaction of objects and light sources in the frame, thanks to which the photographic work looks harmonious and complete. There are a lot of rules, I will list the main ones, those that need to be learned first.
1. Do not try to fit the frame all at once, photograph only the essence. When photographing something in the foreground, keep an eye on the background – it often contains unwanted objects. Poles, traffic lights, garbage cans, and the like – all these extra objects clog the composition and distract attention, they are called “photo debris”.
2. Light is your main visual medium. Depending on the angle of incidence of light on an object, it can look completely different. Black and white drawing is practically the only way to convey volume in a photograph. Frontal light (flash, sun behind) hides the volume, objects look flat. If the light source is shifted slightly to the side, this is already better, a play of light and shadow appears. Counter (backlight) light makes pictures contrasting and dramatic, but you must first learn how to work with such light.
3. Do not place the main subject in the center of the frame, move it slightly to the side. Leave more space in the frame in the direction where the main subject “looks”. Try different options whenever possible, choose the best one.
“Zoom in” and “get closer” are not the same thing. The zoom increases the focal length of the lens, as a result of which the background is stretched and blurred – this is good for a portrait (within reason).
4. We shoot the portrait from the level of the eyes of the model from a distance of at least 2 meters. Lack of zoom by increasing the focal length (zoom in). If we photograph children, we don’t need to do it from the height of our height, we will get a portrait agai
nst the background of the floor, asphalt, grass. Sit down!
Try not to take a portrait from a frontal angle (like a passport). Turning the model’s face towards the main light source is always beneficial. You can try other angles as well. The main thing is light!
5. Make the most of natural light – it’s more artistic and “alive” than flash lighting. Remember that a window is a great source of soft, diffused light, almost like a softbox. With the help of curtains and tulle, you can change the intensity of light and its softness. The closer the model is to the window, the more contrast the lighting.
6. When shooting a landscape, make sure that the horizon line does not cut the frame into two equal halves. If there is more interesting in the foreground, place the horizon at a level of about 2/3 from the bottom edge (earth – 2/3, sky – 1/3), if in the background – respectively, at the level of 1/3 (earth – 1/3, sky – 2/3). It’s also called the “rule of thirds”. If it is not possible to bind the key objects exactly to the “thirds”, place them symmetrically to each other relative to the center.
There are a huge number of rules and recommendations, but they are all related to each other in one way or another. It should also be borne in mind that photography is not an exact science and, if necessary, the rules can be broken. But at the initial stage, you need to “fill your hand” and learn how to confidently create “classic” compositions.