A Brief Thought on Composition

Photo + Video + Film
by Paul Sullivan Apr 8, 2010

Photo By: David Bowen – freelance photography

Paul Sullivan looks at composition in travel photography.

I WAS CHECKING OUT my friend David Bowen’s website earlier today, admiring his travel and music work, and got to thinking about composition. Composition is strong in his work, and reminded me that it’s one of the most important aspects of photography in general.

It’s certainly one that, as a budding or even experienced photographer, you find yourself thinking about and experimenting with a lot. A technically “perfect” photo can easily be ruined by bad composition; conversely, it can be dramatically improved with a little more compositional technique.

Composition is really about balance. The choice of lens, the angle you take the photo from, what you include, and what you exclude…all these are decisions are made along the way and influence the end result – your final image.

There are a lot of tips for improving composition, ranging from working the angles (changing your viewpoint), the golden Rule Of Thirds, effective cropping, making use of leading lines, foreground and depth of field, adopting a sense of scale, using frames, filling the frame and more. Some of these skills come naturally – others require practice.

All of them can help transform an average photo into a kickass one.

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For tips on composition and other elements of travel photography, please check out Focus Guide to Travel Photography.

What tricks have you learned to get better composition? Please share with us in the comments below.

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