Quick Beginner's Guide to Photo Composition

Photographer & Designer - Crowsnest Pass, Alberta - Pixels by Tina

Alright, so we all know photography is more popular now than it ever was before, with millions of pictures being uploaded somewhere online every few minutes. With that in mind, I thought writing a post to help others to, simply and quickly, take and make more amazing images would be a nice thing to do. 
*Before I start, the biggest advice I can give an aspiring photographer is to stop comparing yourself to other photographers or artists. It's a hard one to do, I am guilty of doing it quite often but I always try to remind myself that being unique and different than others is a good thing. Why would I want my images to look like the ones already created. Instead, let it inspire you and teach you. It's my biggest advice because it's the hardest thing I've had to learn in this lifestyle. 

1) Use Leading Lines

leading lines in photography - Nature Photography & Lifestyle Blog - Alberta, Canada - Pixels by Tina

Leading lines are used as a composition technique that grabs the viewer's attention by leading your eye to the main subject. 
You can use roads, railroads, tree lines, shorelines, paths, even railings, basically anything that creates a long line through your photograph and points to a subject. Get creative!

2) Use the Rule of Thirds

Copyright Pixels by Tina

The Rule of Thirds is a guideline or grid for better photo composition. It is two equally spaced horizontal and vertical lines as shown in the picture, creating 9 equal square spaces.  
Place important subjects and elements along these lines to increase the intensity of the image and enthusiasm of the viewer. A little tip: Keep your subjects along the vertical lines while keeping your horizons along the horizontal lines, like in the image above. 

3) Frame your Image

Image framing - Nature Photography & Lifestyle Blog - Alberta, Canada - Pixels by Tina

Framing is the composition technique of placing the viewer's attention to the subject of your image by simulating a frame with something in the scene, or shooting your image through something, like an opened window looking out onto a landscape scene for example. Trees are another idea you can try, as well as doorways and mirrors. I think you get the idea. It gives the image more context, and it leaves the viewer with a curiosity to want to see more, satisfied by their imagination.

4) Depth of Field

Controlled by mostly the aperture, the depth of field can either be shallow like in the first photo, using a large aperture setting like f4 (the smaller the "f" number, the larger the aperture is and the more shallow what isn't in focus will be). Or it can be more of a deep depth like in the second photo, using a smaller aperture setting like f18. 

Understanding aperture could be a post on it's own so to keep it short, just remember, high f # = more scenery will be in focus and the lower the f # = less will be in focus.
There you go. Want to challenge yourself and learn more? Check out Creative Live, by far my favourite place to learn and often for FREE.

These are some of the most essential points of composition in photography. Follow these guidelines and I guarantee you will be taking amazing images, even better than before.
-> What are your rules of thumb when shooting images? What tips would you share? Let me know in the comments! If you enjoyed reading, please share! thanks!

Peace & Love,

Photographer & Designer - Crowsnest Pass, Alberta - Pixels by Tina
composition guide - Nature Photography & Lifestyle Blog - Alberta, Canada - Pixels by Tina