Composition - A headache that makes the difference... 

Home Photography Post Processing Opinion pages Test pages

Appreciation Camera Capture


Composition Focusing Exposure Histogram

There is no way in my opinion to teach or show what is a 'good' composition.

In principle, a good composition is what attracts the viewer's eyes to the subject using imaginary lines composed of light, color, contrast, lines, shapes or perspective.

Rule of thirds and golden ratio.  These two have been around long before the first recorded photographic capture was made.  You can find the golden ratio back to antiquity, so nothing new here.

What is the rule of thirds?  It is simply the action of dividing your capture in three and using this to set a proportion within a capture.  Usually it goes two-thirds of this and one-third of that.  This goes for both horizontal and vertical capture orientations.

The golden ratio is about a square and a half.  Not easy to explain other than with a graphic.


Personally I relate golden ratio to fractals due to the endless repetition of the forms.

Symmetry.  A symmetric capture can go a long way toward a 'good composition'.  This can be used in conjunction with the rule of thirds despite the apparent unbalance of two-third one-third.

Foreground and background elements will make or destroy a capture,  Keep an eye out for that when you compose.

Most captures are made at eye level making them really boring to look at.  Try to change the height, the camera orientation and of course the lens.

Composition must be made at the time a capture is taken.  It needs to reflect the subject uniqueness as well as fitting the display format that will be the final product.  Trying to compose a capture during PP only means that you have no clue as to what you are doing.

A 'good' composition can use lines, lights, paterns in order to attract the viewer eyes toward the captured subject.  If you do not have this you can do everything right and fail.  Since this is a new day and age there is no constraint as to the display format that goes from square to disks and anything in between.  If you print of course you will have to stay more or less traditional but this again is a matter of opinion and taste.

Last page update: 04/07/2016

It is not what you know that is important, how you use it is.

This site is under construction.

This site is created on my experience, past and present.

It introduces opinions that are not shared by many but reflect what I think is fair and informative.