Quick and Easy Tips for Good Photo Composition

by on November 21st, 2010
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Taking photographs is fun. I love to do it and I have ever since I was in elementary school. I can remember trying to capture a picture of a blimp in the sky. People are always interesting subjects. It is always fun to take pictures of my dog and my mom’s dog. However, sometimes there are other things that should be photographed or other things that I want to experience. Sometimes, even if subjects are interesting, the photographs are not. I have found that the solution to this is to work with the composition of the photographs. The problem is that I am never sure what I want to photograph. Luckily, I know that there are tips I can follow to help get great photos.


Patterns are found everywhere. While they may seem like they are difficult to locate, all it takes are a few looks before finding some type of a pattern. The best patterns are ones that occur by themselves. These may be set up by other people or even made by people who don’t realize they are making a pattern. These things make great photographs. If you can truly not find a pattern in nature or one made by others, you can create your own. However, many times it is obvious if you create your own pattern. If you do create your own pattern, try creating it with people or objects that seem like they would naturally be in a pattern.

Focus on the Foreground

Many photographers tend to focus on the background. It is important that the background does not overshadow that foreground. However, many photographers concern themselves with how the background looks and forget to focus on the foreground. The foreground is important, especially in landscapes. It helps to let people know the distance of the background. A great example is standing behind twigs, bushes, or a tree so part of the plant is in the photo and the distance of the rest of the objects in the background can be judged from the plant seen in the foreground.

Use Symmetry

In order to keep a photograph interesting, look for symmetry and put it in the photograph. The photograph does not have to be completely symmetrical, but the part that is symmetrical should be kept centered so it is symmetrical in the photo. A good example of this is a reflection of people in ski goggles. The ski goggles are symmetrical and should be keep centered in the photo. However, the people reflected in the ski goggles do not have to be placed in symmetrical positions.

Use Balanced Colors

Find similar colors in a scene then take a picture. Fruits with similar colors may make a great photograph. Perhaps a grocery store will let you take photographs of the produce. If not, perhaps there is a local farmers’ market or a local farm. There are other things besides fruit that have similar colors. There also may be similar colors except for one small section of the photograph. This keeps the photograph interesting.

Tell A Story

When taking a photograph, tell a story. If the photograph is of people, what’s happening? Is there a celebration? Is somebody mourning a loss? I somebody jealous? Think of how you can capture these emotions and stories and take that picture. Don’t simply take a picture of “a person.” If the picture is of objects, think of what may have just happened or what may be about to happen. How can this be captured?

Mix Tips

When taking photos, think about all of these tips. It is rare that only one will be used. You will most likely use at least two if not all of them.


Personal Experience

Peterson, D. (n.d.). Six Quick Composition Tips by Digital Photo Secrets. Get Your Hands on Fantastic Pro-Photography Knowledge! by Digital Photo Secrets . Retrieved January 3, 2012, from http://www.digital-photo-secrets.com/tip/796/six-quick-composition-tips/

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