Composition is one of the key elements that contribute to the makeup of a great photograph. It is something that defines the way the viewer’s eye is led into the photo and how the different elements in the photo connect with each other and help tell a story.

There are many so called rules that will help improve your photographic compositions. However, they shouldn’t really be seen as rules. They are just guidelines that will help create a balanced and interesting photograph.

If you are looking for ways to improve the quality of your mobile photography, here are some of the more popular composition guidelines.

Follow the Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is based on the concept that a photograph is broken down into a grid like structure. Using this grid to compose your photographs will greatly improve your chances of taking a good image and making it into a great photograph.

The rule of thirds grid consists of two horizontal lines and two vertical lines which are evenly spaced over the image area. This grid offers a choice of junction points, lines, bands and quadrants into which they can position their subjects in order to achieve a balance to the photos you take.

Low tide by Andy Butler

Low tide by Andy Butler

Look for Lines of Perspective

One of the best ways to lead a viewer’s eye into a photograph is with the use of lines. When composing your photograph look for natural lines that lead into the scene. The lines of perspective in an empty street, on a rail track or a winding path or road are excellent ways to lead the eye into your image and lead it round the photograph often ending up at a distant focal point.

528491 by Mark T Simmons

528491 by Mark T Simmons

Balance the Image

Great composition has balance. However, if you were to position a subject to the extremities of your frame this could create an imbalance leading the eye away from the centre of the photograph. In this sort of situation, you can counter balance the photo by positioning another object on the opposite side of the frame. This is based around the rule of thirds concept where you can balance the photograph and create a connection between two objects.

Big Dog 1 by Paolo Berni

Big Dog 1 by Paolo Berni

Crop in close

Close cropping into a subject will help to eliminate any external distractions from your photograph as well as providing a more intimate connection with the subject. Close cropping is a popular technique used in portraiture photography as it focuses your complete attention on the subject, emphasising detail and strengthening the connection between the viewer and subject.

Noir by Paula Gardener

Noir by Paula Gardener

Think Symmetry

If you were to follow the rule of thirds to the letter in everything you shoot, you would always be positioning your subjects off centre. However, every once in a while rules are meant to be broken. Look for symmetry or patterns in your surroundings especially if the light is right and the shadows create further patterns and shapes in the scene. This balance of symmetry can make for extremely interesting results.

The Worst Pub in England by Andy Butler

The Worst Pub in England by Andy Butler

These are just 5 ways in which you can help improve the photographic compositions of the images you take. There are many more but remember these are just guidelines. There are no hard and fast rules. At the end of the day a great photograph is made up of many different elements. Composition is just one of them.

>