Cut though all the advancements in photography over the past few years, and ultimatley how the photo is composed is the most important factor in a good image. You should pay attention to this when condsidering hiring a professional photographer. Look through their work and it becomes easier to understand how their eyes work, and hopefully help your own image making skills.

Composition, the act of composing the image in the viewfinder, is a visual process of organizing the elements and individual details of a scene into a balanced and pleasing arrangement. Because what one person finds pleasing, someone else will not, composition is largely a matter of personal taste.

In this section, we take that into account. There is no right or wrong composition in photography. A composition that conveys a photographer’s intended meaning is an effective one. A composition that doesn’t or that confuses the viewer is not.

TREAT THE RULES OF COMPOSITION AS GUIDELINES

Some of the so-called “rules” of composition presented here should be considered as guidelines. They are based on recreating similarities in the make-up of many different images that many people have found to be esthetically-pleasing. We do not intend that a rule of composition or a design concept be taken as a hard and fast rule that must be observed. Besides, some renowned photographs violate all the rules of composition and are still excellent pictures. This doesn’t mean that the rules are without value. They are tremendously valuable. They are time-proven, and provide great guidelines for photographers at any level. We use them all the time.

ORIGIN OF THE RULES OF COMPOSITION

Years ago, artists who had been born with an innate sense of design created works that were perceived, by other skilled artists, as having good composition. Not only that, but their works were very popular with the general public and art afficionados. Analysis of such works showed patterns and trends in the organization and inter-relationships of lines, shapes, forms and colors that were recognized as contributing to the effectiveness of the works. It was found that others could employ these patterns as techniques in improving their own works. When they were defined, they became known as the rules of composition.

FOLLOW THE RULES UNTIL YOU KNOW WHEN TO BREAK THEM

Once you have the rules of composition down pat, experiment and break a rule here or there when you feel the image will work better without it. That’s called individual style, and the creativity that stems from it produces some great images. The point is that you will know when to break a rule of composition once you know what the rules are and how they work.