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The Golden Rules of Frame Composition

When it comes to photography, frame composition is extremely important. With poor composition, even the most fantastic subjects will look dull and unappealing. However, when the scene is well-set, wonderful imagery can be created even from ordinary situations. Keeping this in mind, how can you achieve the perfect photo frame composition? Well, read on, as we discuss some golden rules of frame composition that will allow you to transform your images into something extraordinary:

Simplify the Scene

When you look at any particular scene, you can quickly pick out the subjects of interest. But that is not the case with the camera. It captures everything in front of it. And this can result in a messy, cluttered picture with no focal point. To overcome this, you need to choose your subject and then select a camera viewpoint or focal length which makes it the center of attention in the frame. Obviously, other objects cannot be kept out of the picture, so it’s best to make them a part of the story or keep them in the background.

Fill the Frame

When shooting large-scale scenes, the biggest compositional mistake photographers make is leaving too much empty space. The subject appears smaller than it actually is, which can leave viewers confused about what they are supposed to focus on. However, this can be avoided by getting closer to the subject or by zooming in to fill the frame. By doing this, you can make it easier for yourself to exclude or control what is in the background and flattens the perspective of the shot. If you move closer physically, though, you can make things more interesting.

Focus on the Background

While focusing on the subject is important, you should pay attention to what is in the background as well. This correlates with filling the frame and simplifying the scene. The background cannot be excluded, but it can be controlled. Using a longer focal length and wide lens aperture, you can effectively throw the background out of focus. As a matter of fact, sometimes just changing your position is enough to replace a messy, cluttered background with something that complements your subject perfectly.

Avoid the Middle

For most new photographers, it’s tempting to put the subject in the center of the frame. But that only results in boring, static pictures. This issue, however, can be counteracted with the ‘Rule of Thirds’, where you divide the image into thirds, both vertically and horizontally, and place your subject on one of the intersections or lines. Keep in mind, though, that you can have your own approach to this as there are no rules about achieving this kind of visual balance. Just learn to rely on your instincts and you are good to go!

These are some golden rules of frame composition. If you apply them correctly, you can take amazing photos in the most ordinary of settings. Mastering frame composition soon after you pick up the camera improves your chances of becoming an expert photographer.

November 5, 2015

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