Photography Composition Articles


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Guidelines for Better Photographic Composition: Introduction

Cabin in Alps

Have you ever wondered why some pictures are more appealing than others . . . .

Art Museum

. . . why some are left hanging in galleries for months or even years to be enjoyed by thousands?

Man in rowboat on lake

Have you ever wondered why some photographers consistently win the praises of judges and critics?

Kitten hiding in plant leaves

One of the main reasons why some pictures are more outstanding than others is because of their strong composition. That's what this program is all about. We're going to consider how composition can improve your photographs.

Greek Temple

Good composition is a subject with a history of its own. The Greeks and Romans were practicing it 2,000 years before photography! It's obvious in their architecture.

Detail of building

And today, composition continues as an important part of contemporary architecture. One definition for photographic composition is simple: the pleasing selection and arrangement of subjects within the picture area.


Some arrangements are made by placing figures or objects in certain positions. Others are made by choosing a point of view. You can shift your camera very slightly and make quite a change in composition.

Some snapshots may turn out to have good composition, but most good pictures are created. How do you create a picture? First learn the guidelines for good composition.

Snapshot of mountain lake

After you've learned the guidelines, you'll realize that well-composed pictures often take careful planning and sometimes patient waiting.

You'll find that the composition guidelines will become part of your thinking when you're looking for pictures, and soon they will become second nature to you.

In this program, we'll discuss:

Think of these not as rules but as simple guidelines

Mother holding child at end of corridor formed by brush

Photographic composition is an expression of your natural sense of design. These guidelines will help you sharpen your natural sense of composition and take better pictures.


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