It wasn’t until the 1940s that the art world began recognizing photography as an art form. This was when photographers like Ansel Adams started exhibiting their seminal work in galleries.
They proved that good photographers do more than push a few buttons and spin some dials. Photography as an art form takes talent, practice, and balanced photo composition.
But, exactly what is photo composition? The short answer is that it separates amateur photographers from great photographers.
Read on for the full answer in this photo composition guide for beginners.
Photo Composition Definition
Composition in photos describes how a photographer arranges the elements in the frame. Every photographer makes conscious decisions about how their photos will look. So if you want to know the answer to “what is photo composition?” then that’s it!
But there are good composition photos and bad composition photos. Often, the bad ones occur when the photographer hasn’t learned the basic photo composition rules. Once you know them, you can keep them in mind whilst taking photos in the future to improve your photography.
»Rule 1: Rule of Thirds
This is a standard compositional guideline where you split your frame into thirds. You do this with two vertical lines and two horizontal lines so you have nine equal boxes on your frame. Most cameras have a “grid” setting you can switch on so you can see the lines when you take photos.
Experiment with moving your camera so the horizons in your landscapes sit on one of these lines. Take portraits with your subjects cutting through one of the vertical lines. It may help your composition look more balanced.
»Rule 2: Choice of Focus
No matter which camera or lens you use, you can choose which subjects or objects to focus on. This can affect your photo’s composition and the story you are telling with your photo. For example, do you want to focus on the parade performer or the little girl’s smiling face as she watches the parade?
There is almost always something in the background of your photos that is stealing focus that you can’t avoid. Don’t worry, you can always use a background remover during the editing process. You can use background remover tools offered by Icons8, Remove.Bg, or Adobe Express.
»Rule 3: Levels and Placement
Many beginner photographers take photos from eye level from the place where they happen to be standing. But what would happen if you took the photo lying on the ground instead? Or if you took the photo standing from a nearby balcony?
For example, road photos look more interesting taken near the ground. And your landscapes might look more impressive from a greater height.
What Is Photo Composition? Now You Know!
Answering the question, “what is photo composition?” isn’t simple. There are many ways you can improve your photography by experimenting with composition. But if you follow this guide as you’re getting started, you will soon figure out what the other ways are for yourself.
To become a professional photographer, you’ll need a portfolio website. You’ll need to learn more about digital imagery too. Lucky for you, our website can offer all the technical knowledge you’ll ever need to succeed in this field!