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The action of putting things together; formation or construction.



The term composition simply means 'putting together' and is applied to all forms of art. In this respect, composition is all about the placement, arrangement or organisation of the individual elements within a photo. The composition of a photograph is what catches the viewer's attention and is what makes the image pleasing to the eye. By practicing and developing basic composition techniques, you can produce pieces of work which can recreate the impact of the original scene.

Some tips for developing composition skills are;

  • Look around using the viewfinder every time you take a picture.
  • Look at each element and how it impacts the overall composition.
  • Become familiar with your camera. Learn how it works, play around with settings and really get to know how each setting changes the overall image.
  • Experiment and practice. Experiment and practice. Experiment and practice.
  • Study other pieces of art; photography, paintings, films; look at their composition. You'll soon develop a better understanding of composition.


Compositional Techniques


There are three basic rules or techniques to creating a pleasing composition...

Rule of Thirds


This is a common guideline when it comes to composition. The idea is to divide the image up into sections using four lines, like so -

Rule of Thirds PSD by JohnnySix

The lines and the points they cross are then where you would try to place the subject and/or areas of interest (such as the horizon). This creates an image that is pleasing to the eye.

Koan by myrnajacobsRule of Thirds by bene-gesseritIllusions by ScarletteDeath

Rule of Odds


This technique states that by framing the subject with an even number of objects, the image will be more comforting to the eye and creates a feeling of ease or pleasure. So, if you're going to place more than one person in a photo, don't use two, use 3 or 5 or 7, etc.

For example, an image of a person surrounded by two other people will then be deemed more pleasing than an image of the single person with no surroundings.

Three people by aniawThree Musketeers by NariscussThree + Three by MatthewXavier

Rule of Space


This rule creates fluidity or movement within a photo. The viewer's eye is drawn to a particular place with the use of negative space.

No more running away by dcamachoRunning Away by z00m483Running by TheDarkRabbit

These are basic and simple rules to help you along the way when it comes to composition. But as always, rules are meant to be broken, and sometimes the best pieces of work come from doing just that.
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:iconpraveenkoduri:
praveenkoduri Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Student Photographer
thanks for the journal .. its verry useful.. thank u again :) :)
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Student Photographer
Glad you found it helpful :meow:
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:iconpraveenkoduri:
praveenkoduri Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Student Photographer
yup :)
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:icondeerhunter2012:
deerhunter2012 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So will the Golden Mean Grid fit in anywhere with this? Should I submit any of these types of photos into the Rule of Thirds folder?
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011  Student Photographer
You'll have to ask the group about that I'm afraid as I'm not running the contest :)
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:iconscarlettedeath:
ScarletteDeath Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you very much for the feature. These articles are awesome, can't wait to read more. :aww:
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2011  Student Photographer
My pleasure :meow: I'm glad you found them interesting :)
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:iconmyrnajacobs:
myrnajacobs Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2011  Professional Photographer
thanks. That is a great article too!
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2011  Student Photographer
Thank you :meow:
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:iconchrsvg:
chrsvg Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
NIcee!!!!
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2011  Student Photographer
Awesome :dummy:
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:icondismayedsense:
DismayedSense Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
As a photographer...I've never ever heard of the Rule of Odds before lol

Neither have my art teacher and my mentor have taught me that rule :O_o:

There's always a first for everyone though, thank you! :happybounce:
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2011  Student Photographer
Glad someone learnt something :dummy:
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:iconmochichama:
mochichama Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
now i know theres rule of odds,
nice info ill keep it in mind :)
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2011  Student Photographer
:#1:
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2011  Student Photographer
:#1:
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:icongasparnolasco:
GasparNolasco Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2011   Digital Artist
Short text, but it got the message across fine. Also wonderful selection of illustrations.
Thank you very much for the information.
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2011  Student Photographer
Thanks for reading :)
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:iconcymae:
Cymae Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Could I possibly link you to CGSociety's article on composition? It's quite good: [link]
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2011  Student Photographer
Awesome article :meow:
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:iconitti:
Itti Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Great article :)
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2011  Student Photographer
Thanks for reading :love:
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:iconkamachu:
Kamachu Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I love this :heart: :heart: :heart:
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Student Photographer
:dummy:
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:iconim-not-sana:
im-not-sana Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Good stuffs :thumbsup: I had no idea about the Rule of Odds :)
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Student Photographer
Glad to know people found it useful :dummy:
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:iconverticaldubai:
VerticalDubai Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Professional Photographer
Good job! Thanks, ScENeYmE :)

Cheers
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Student Photographer
Thank you for reading! :dummy:
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:iconmantha1624:
mantha1624 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I am getting so much useful information from this series! Thank you so much for doing this. :D
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Student Photographer
Glad to know people are finding it useful! :dummy:
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:iconstevieb1977:
stevieB1977 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011
Very informative, thank you :-)
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Student Photographer
You're welcome :love:
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:iconearthymoon:
Earthymoon Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Rules are meant to be broken...HAHA...... :D
......but you should follow these. ;)
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Student Photographer
Indeed :meow:
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:iconmruki:
mruki Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Very lovely article, very information :).
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Student Photographer
Thanks for reading :meow:
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:iconjamminjo:
JamminJo Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Fantastic information:woohoo:

Thank you Project Educate :)
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:iconsceneyme:
ScENeYmE Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Student Photographer
Thank you for reading! :dummy:
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:iconjamminjo:
JamminJo Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
My pleasure:)
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