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How to nail composition {photography lesson}

Fat Mum Slim /

Hello there photo-taker. So you want to know a little bit more about photography. Let’s chat composition.

composition

Composition is easy. It’s as easy as just thinking about what you’re photographing and where you’re going to put your subject IN your photo. It’s taking a moment to set-up your photo, instead of just seeing a cat, taking a photo and calling it a day. It’s just taking time to think about how you could make your photo more visually interesting by thinking about how it all fits within the frame. I know some of you are thinking, “I don’t got time for that!” but trust me when I say that once you switch on this way of thinking, it quickly becomes habit and you start creating a personal style for your photos. In fact, you’ve probably already created your own person style unintentionally, but let’s start photographing with purpose.

One of the best ways to start to consider composition is to turn on the grid on your phone or camera. To do this on your iPhone, click Settings > Photos & Camera > Scroll down and enable Grid.

When taking photos you might like to keep your subject matter in the centre of the photo, or maybe move it to sit on one of the vertical lines on the grid. Get down low and shoot from a lower position, and then maybe see how it looks when you take the photo from above. This is all composition. Maybe head out today and take some photos of a still object. Take 5-10 photos and put the object in a different position for each photo. Look over your photos and decide which you like best.

Here’s three photos that I think have awesome composition. I hope they inspire you.

This photo by Alejandro is of the desert, with a huge sand dune in front of the man. Can you see how the photo has been composed? The end of the desert is at the bottom third of the photograph, and then the man is placed centrally in that bottom third.

This photo by Ali has composed the subject matter in the middle, but you can see what she’s used negative space {blank wall} around the balloons to make the photo more interesting. Pretty cool!

This photo by Pixel Stories   does things a little differently. It fills the whole frame with the flowers, so it’s like a visual explosion of colour and fun. They’ve still created interest by breaking it up into quarters with different flowers in each segment of the photo.

It’s as simple or as complicated as arranging your bedside table. Even if we gave every person exactly the same objects, they’d all arrange them differently. It’s about playing around and seeing how you like them best.

Have fun with it.

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  • Can’t wait to play around with this today. Thank you for your handy tips Chantelle!

  • ky

    Using the grid is called the rule of thirds. You should aim to have your subject placed over 1 or more of the cross points or along 1 of the lines.
    I assume you already know this but just adding a bit of info for your readers. 🙂
    Love the balloon shot a lot!

    • Yes, sorry. I’ve written on ‘rule of thirds’ before. I was just trying to keep it simple. 🙂

  • That desert shot? Beyond!

  • Barb N

    great post Chantelle … very helpful .. xxx Barb xxxx

@Fatmumslim