The Seven Elements of Good Photography

July 15, 2010

Utilize the 7 elements elements of composition to be creative and develop your own photographic style:

  1. Rule of Thirds: Your subject should rarely be placed dead in the middle of your image.  If otherwise, the space around the subject becomes rarely utilized and the image is poorly proportioned and lacks a sense of direction to lead the eye. Thus, position your subject along the lines or on the 4 hotspots. 
  2. Framing: Surround the center of interest with objects from the foreground and background.
  3. Leading Lines: When used correctly, visible and invisible lines and curves help to guide your audience’s eyes toward the point of interest.
  4. Fill the Frame: Too much negative space may take away from the primary focus your intending to create. 
  5. Repetition & Contrast: Look for patterns and differences within the scene you’re photographing to illustrate relationships and connections between people, places and things. 
  6. Selective Focus or Shallow Depth of Field: Shallow depth of field brings more focus to the point of interest by blurring the distractions in the background while focusing the foreground/the subject. For portraits, this technique is especially useful for catching the shine in a person’s eyes.
  7. Perspective: Taking multiple pictures at one angle can not only lack creativity but also get pretty monotonous. Thus, try varying the angles shoot your camera from to incorporate different perspectives. Shoot at the hip or for the sky. Instead of the foreground, use selective focus on the background. Rather than focusing on getting the main action, get the reactions or the minor characters..

Note that these are only guidelines that help create some variation and style. Not all good pictures conform to these rules so you can go beyond the box once in a while.

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