How To Master Photographic Composition

If you’re new to photography, I recommend you have fun and shoot whatever you want. With time, you’ll notice some pictures “feel” better than others. But why?

Photographic composition is one the essential parts of photography. It tells how the subject is placed and what elements go around it. Composition is what makes a photo “feel” right.

Before taking a picture, ask yourself some questions:

  • What are you shooting?

  • Is it posed or spontaneous?

  • What emotions are you trying to capture?

  • Is the background important?

  • What patterns appear your frame?

  • Is the light adequate?

These questions, and other similar ones, go through the head of every photographer before clicking the shutter button. But it’s not conscious.

Each photographer has a technique of their own. Eventually, you’ll develop your own technique.

So how do you master composition? Well, you probably already know about the rule of thirds. You probably already know about color balance. You probably already know about lights and shadows.

What are you missing? Personality.

I’ve noticed there are two types of photographers who don’t master composition: those who don’t care at all, and those who care too much.

Photographers who don’t care about composition are likely to end up with thousands of photos. All they do is press the shutter randomly, over and over again with no planning. Some of their pictures will be amazing, but they’ll get lost in a pile of very similar shots.

On the other hand, photographers who plan every single detail end up losing the best photos. They follow the rule of thirds to such extent that they are unable to be creative and original. They’ll spend hours to take just a few good photos.

If you want to master photographic composition, you’ll need personality. You need to be yourself.

I’m not saying you should forget about the rule of thirds, patterns and lines. But you shouldn’t worry too much either.