9 Photo Composition Tips featuring Steve McCurry
- Composition : From Snapshots to Great Shots
- Bryan Peterson's Understanding Composition Field Guide: How to See and Photograph Images with Impact
- Photography Composition : Simple Understanding of Composition to Become an Amazing Photographer
You probably know by now how important composition is in photography. If you don't, let me tell that along with light, it is the most important factor in taking a great picture, from a technical point of view.
Everyone's heard about the rule of thirds or the golden ratio, even people with little or no interest in photography. They are two of the most popular composition rules and we encourage all beginners to study and apply them. However limiting your knowledge about composition to these two rules is self sabotage.
(Success Tip:Take better photos with this simple deck of cards )
A good composition is something your camera can't do for you and that's why it requires careful thought and fast application. In a many cases you won't have the luxury of thinking about framing too much, that's why it's best to develop some reflexes.
The best way to actually learn composition is through trial and error. Read about it and then go out and shoot as much as you can. After you reach a certain level of experience, you will have enough confidence to experiment and break the rules. This outside the box thinking will help develop your personal style which is ultimately something every photographer wants.
Another great way to learn is to study the work of others, particularly photographers with famous portfolios. The folks with The Cooperative of Photography have put together a great video on composition using words of wisdom from iconic photojournalist Steve McCurry . Steve McCurry's work needs no introduction and viewing it is a joy that reminds us how beautiful and powerful photography can be.
Many thanks to Steve McCurry and of course COOPH Magazine !
The 9 tips that are covered in the video are:
1. Rule of Thirds: Place points of interest on the intersections and important elements along the lines
2. Leading Lines: Use natural lines to lead the eye into the picture
3. Diagonals: Diagonal lines create great movement
4. Framing: Use natural frames like windows and doors
5. Figure to Ground: Find a contrast between subject and background
6. Fill the Frame: Get close to your subjects
7. Center Dominant Eye: Place the dominant eye in the center of the photo
8. Patterns and Repetition: Patterns are aesthetically pleasing; but the best is when the pattern is interrupted
9. Symmetry: Symmetry is pleasing to the eye
Here is the video. Enjoy!
Image credits: COOPH used example photos from Steve McCurry in the above video