50 Photography Composition Tips

A distilled version of practical photography tips you can try out:



1. Tilt your camera (dutch angle)
2. Leading lines
3. Start with a black background
4. Add white space around the head of your subject
5. Use a flash to add contrast
6. Diagonal lines from the edges of your frame
7. Subtract from the frame
8. Minus- exposure compensation (-1, -2)
9. Eye contact/ no eye contact
10. Crouch down for ‘superman effect’
11. Shoot looking down
12. Focus on the edges of your frame
13. Clean background
14. Use an LCD screen for accurate framing
15. See the world in monochrome (high contrast b/w preview)
16. Make at least 10 photos of each scene (study contact sheets)
17. Look for curves
18. Gaussian blur in photoshop to check figure- to-ground
19. Put yourself in the photo (self-portrait)
20. Make triangle compositions
21. To create depth, focus on the background
22. Focus on one detail (hands)
23. Wide-angle lenses are more dynamic (28mm, 35mm)
24. Photos without emotion are boring
25. The simpler your composition, the better
26. Draw red lines on your photos after you shoot them
27. Photograph legs in a ‘V’ shape
28. Look for colorful things/scenes
29. Photograph textures
30. Golden rectangle
31. Fibonacci spiral
32. Strip away the superfluous
33. Study renaissance painting (Leonardo da Vinci)
34. Photography is poetry without words
35. Center-eye composition
36. Practice composition on trees
37. Look for the frame in the frame
38. Shoot in ‘P’ (program) mode to focus on composition
39. Your eyes look at the brightest part of the photo
40. Use an LCD grid overlay (if you have one)
41. Look down and up
42. Practice composition on family members
43. Photograph hand-gestures
44. Monochrome is easier for composition
45. Photograph in elevators for reflections
46. Look at your photos as small thumbnails
47. Follow your gut for composition (not brain)
48. Emotion is more important than composition
49. Shoot how you feel
50. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

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