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Basic Composition Rules

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Basic Composition Rules in Digital Photography

How to take better photos by applying Basic Composition rules

“My camera doesn’t take very good pictures, what camera should I buy for better photos?”

This is a question I have been asked many times. My candid honest answer is: Your camera does not take pictures, it only records the data. You take the photos. There are several important aspects about each camera and how they record the data, but it is a solid fact that the photographer is the only one who should be rewarded or blamed for the picture.

When you look at a picture what is the first thing you notice? Is it the colour rendition and how the camera produced the colour? Or is it how much dynamic range the camera has? Or is it a full frame DSLR or DX DSLR, Mirrorless, or a compact point and shoot camera?

Perhaps none of the above! So why does one picture attract your attention and another does not? Let’s see how we (as audiences) rate photos.

What are the key elements of a picture?

There are two main elements in a photo which everyone notices first: exposure and composition. There are many, many cameras on the market which allow some sort of control over the exposure, but I won’t get into a discussion about exposure here.

The next key element for better photos is composition. There are established rules and guidelines for composition which you can apply or modify, which is a fun fact about composition rules. In almost all cases it is the composition which attracts a viewer to stay longer and really look at a photo. Here are some samples of the importance of composition.

I took these photos with an iPhone (which means no control over exposure!).

Composition adds the depth to your image

Composition adds the depth to your image

Using guide lines in composition

Using guide lines in composition

Even a point and shoot camera (like an iPhone) can create good images by using Composition guide lines

Even a point and shoot camera (like an iPhone) can create good images by using Composition guide lines

Applying Rule of Thirds is one of the basic composition rules yet very powerful

Applying Rule of Thirds is one of the basic composition rules yet very powerful

When images are well composed, they are naturally appealing and viewers want to see more. Now that you know how important composition is, you may want to learn more about it. You can register for our brand new Digital Camera Workshop, where learning about composition is part of the two part program. Stay tuned for more discussions about composition in our “Photo Tip Friday” blog.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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