Category Archives: tutorial

Quick Tips for Better Composition

Composition is a key component of a great image. As photographers we shoot a LOT of images and only a portion of those images make the cut, if we have a discerning eye that is. I’m pretty critical of my work, some days more than I should be.

One of the things I really focus on in workshops that I teach is: composition. There are many “rules of composition” and no you don’t necessarily have to follow them to create a compelling image, however I am of the school of thought of …
Learn the rules then break the rules.

I thought I’d share a couple of basic tips for better composition, do these things in camera if you can, instead of fixing them in post. It will make your life easier. Personally I’d rather spend more time behind the camera instead of being in front of a computer. :)

1. Mind your Horizons

When the horizon is off kilter in your image, it can really kill it for the viewer, makes me feel crooked. One of my ways to combat this is to turn on the grid in the viewfinder/LCD screen. See if your camera has this option, if so, give it a try and see how it goes. If it doesn’t then try to be mindful of your horizon and keep it straight when you’re shooting. If you missed it by a bit, that’s okay, software like Lightroom have a great tool set to help you fix this.

horizon

Now perhaps you’re thinking, but I want my horizon askew! You can do this and probably should do this on occasion to just to flip the perspective and see something in a different way. Just do it with intention.

IMG_6664

2. Use Leading Lines

Leading lines bring the viewer into the image and lead them to the main subject of your image. When composing an image think of how you’re leading the viewer into the shot and what you want them to focus on. In some cases these lines may seem to go on forever, leaving the viewer to wonder what exists at the end of the line, or tunnel or bridge…

columbira river

2014_365_117

2014_365_149

That’s it for today, I’ll put more of these together!

~ kate