Mastering photo composition, contrary to popular opinion, is not something you necessarily need a photography degree to do. Learning a few basic tips will go a long way, providing that photo a degree of professionalism to ensure it looks the part when printed onto your selected canvas. Below, we give you a brief run down on some of the key aspects of composition, and how to achieve them easily next time you get behind the lens.
Ensure the frame is full
We’ve all been there before – had our breath taken away by a land- or cityscape and been inspired to capture it on camera, only to realise that the recorded image pales in comparison to what you see before your eyes. Large scale scenes are notoriously difficult to capture successfully, so in order to ensure that the image you capture is (almost) perfect, make sure the frame itself is filled.
Too much empty space is the first no-go zone of photo composition. If you find yourself with wide spaces taking up large percentages of your picture, zoom in to flatten the perspective of the shot. You’ll be able to control the image easier, simultaneously removing your needless background.
Keep it simple
It may seem like an obvious one, but keeping things simple really is the key to success for amateur photography. If you slow down the process of vision, you’ll notice that your eye automatically focuses on what is interesting to you – a camera doesn’t have this luxury, so it’s up to you to ensure that the shot encapsulates your desired subject.
The easiest way to do this is to simplify the shot in such a manner than your subject is the focal point of the image. Even if you can’t keep the other objects completely out of shot, at least relegate them to background features, or approach the shot from a different angle to increase your subject’s prominence where necessary.
Avoid the middle on occasion
Having your subject bang in the centre of your photos every time has the danger of making them, well, a bit ‘middle of the road’. If you switch up your approach, you avoid falling into the trap of producing predictable, static photos – something that, when printing, will prove invaluable.
It’s a common misconception that without the subject in the centre, you lose all the balance of the photo. The scene should lend itself to providing some form of visual balance, and after a few attempts you’ll soon realise the wealth of dimensions you unlock through taking this approach. Trust your instincts, and your repertoire will grow almost instantly.
Incorporate movement where possible
If you find yourself in the perfect position to capture a moving object in all its glory, don’t shy away from the very fact that drew your attention there in the first place – its movement. When captured well, you’ll still be able to exhibit this sense of movement perfectly. The trick is to show the object with more space in front of it than behind; doing so not only highlights the direction it is moving in, but the ‘potential’ of the journey your subject possesses. Showing that the subject has got somewhere to go, somewhere to move, presents the picture with more balance. Without doing so, it can often look ‘uneasy’ and restrictive – make the fact your image is static work in your advantage and you’ll be more than satisfied with the outcome.
Create colour contrasts
You don’t need us to tell you what colours attract attention better than others, but what you may need to introduce is some colour contrasts in order to ensure the composition of your photo is at its best. This isn’t a question of constantly seeking extremes in terms of colour when taking a photo, instead ensuring your subject matter remains as striking as possible.
Remember that the way you frame your subject will have a huge impact on the way the contrast is achieved. If you manage to isolate your photo’s centrepiece from potentially distracting background colours, you’re half way to achieving that complementary hue that can make the final image so powerful.
Use diagonal lines to create drama
Where horizontal lines often suggest a degree of placidity and calm and vertical lines suggest balance and stability, to create that sought-after sense of drama within your picture, try and introduce diagonal lines. Not only are they handy in highlighting movement, they also display uncertainty – something that can really take a photo to the next level in terms of impact and effect.
It’s easy to implement, too; simply tilt your focus and alter the perspective and you will be able to manipulate the subject and its surroundings to display these diagonalisms. Use this wisely and you’ll soon find that a whole new dimension can be accessed with ease.
Contact Parrot Print
For more help and advice regarding photography and printing, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our team today. We’ll always be on hand to provide you with any guidance or insight you may need to achieve the best results with your pictures, and will respond to any queries as soon as we possibly can.