Photography Composition: Getting Diversity in Your Compositions
Photography Composition: Getting Diversity in Your Compositions

When you’re first getting into photography all the basic classes and books emphasize the importance of the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is a great concept when you’re getting started, for avoiding center compositions, or when you’re lost on where to place the subject in the frame. Rule of thirds refers to subject placement.

So do other compositions such as all of the golden compositions based on a mathematical relationship such as the spiral, triangle, and ratio. The spiral works great for images with curves, the triangle for limbs such as trees or arms/elbows, and I find the ratio composition works well for architecture. The golden ratio does not put the subject intersection lines on the third, but rather in the center or near center. But it’s not the only theme to consideration, in fact, subject placement itself is not the only consideration. There are many tools and devices you can use to create a stronger photograph and help expand your compositional vocabulary. Here are just a few fun things to try. Negative space. Give your main subject some breathing (or swimming) room. 2016-01-04_0008 Fill the frame. Make use of the image space and get closer. 2016-01-04_0002 Use repetition to engage the viewer. 2016-01-04_0009 Use leading lines or curves to draw the line around and through the image. 2016-01-04_0003 Move the horizon line. Changing the horizon line from the lower section to the upper changes the feel from vast to solid. 2016-01-04_0005 Make use of your foreground, mid-ground, and background to add depth and dimension to your images. 2016-01-04_0006 Look for texture or patterns—they make for interesting and dynamic images. 2016-01-04_0001 And most of all, just have fun. Try new things, find what works, fix what doesn’t, but enjoy the process. If you’re not enjoying it, I truly believe you’re doing it wrong.

Read more: 4 Unique Framing Photography Composition Ideas for Creative Photos

  • Tia
    January 20, 2016 at 6:52 PM

    Excellent tips and examples! My favorite image was the turtle image because I love the use of negative space!


  • Heather
    January 28, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    Great tips Courtney, your photos are just lovely!

  • Peggy
    January 28, 2016 at 1:58 PM

    Love your posts

    Thank you

  • Jazz
    January 28, 2016 at 3:13 PM

    Thank you so much. Your articles are so easy to read and follow. It is very helpful. :)

  • Maxwell
    January 28, 2016 at 5:08 PM

    Good tips. Thanks for sharing. Turtle image looks great.

  • Tony
    January 29, 2016 at 1:21 AM

    Awesome pics, Courtney!

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