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Master Techniques for Improve your Image with Composition. 6 Ways to Ace Your Shot Composition

The first thing to remember about composing your shots in photography is that all rules are meant to be broken. At least, if that is what it's going to take to get the best composition for your subject matter, then you should go for it. Photography is an artform, and like all art forms, it demands expression through creative freedom without being bogged down in rules and regulations.

While stunning imagery can owe a lot to high-quality equipment such as professional lighting, light panels, and even the new range of LED lighting equipment, an understanding of composition and how it can be used to improve every shot is also important.

So, if you think about the rules as more of a set of guidelines, you will be free to experiment and produce some truly unique imagery. With that said, DandO lighting is here to tell you about 6 of the best “guidelines” that are sure to help you improve your shot composition.

 

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  1. First, You Need a Plan

 

The action you are observing in front of you may be exciting, but when the audience is viewing it on a screen you need to have a plan for each scene that will draw the eyes to exactly where you want them to go at every moment. 

Examine the scene carefully and plan your layouts so every frame creates an impact. Also, take the time to discover new and exciting ways in how to use your LED lighting equipment and light panels, so your creative process is not hampered by your unfamiliarity with the equipment.

 

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  1. Nail Down the Aspect Ratio

 

There wasn’t much thought devoted to aspect ratio in the past, as you were generally stuck with the aspect ratio your camera came with. Modern technology has put paid to that, however, as most cameras give you the option to change the aspect ratio of the images you capture. 

You also need to consider the device your images will be viewed on, as there is a multitude of screen sizes and dimensions out in the wild, which can make or break your image depending on how it is being viewed.

 

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  1. Break it Down with the Rule of Thirds

 

The rule of thirds, or the fundamental rule of composition, is taking your shot and dividing it into thirds using two vertical lines, and two horizontal lines to section off the image into nine equally sized portions.

Points of interest should fall onto, or close to one of the lines to add weight to your images and will help you prevent always placing the subject at the center. When using people in your images, the rule of thirds will also give you some perspective on how their appearance in the image balances out the vertical and horizontal framing.

 

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  1. Look into Their Eyes

 

Whether in real life or film, it’s the eyes which will always draw the bulk of our attention; a trait you can use to good effect in your composition.

The face is just about the strongest visual element you can use in an image. Our eyes are naturally drawn to the face, with the eyes soon becoming the focus of our attention. You can then use the eye lines (where the subject is looking) to direct the focus to where you need it.

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  1. Add Balance with Symmetry

 

Symmetry is a powerful technique to use in your composition, as we all associate symmetry with beauty.  When something is symmetrical, it means that one side of an object is identical to the other, but you can also strengthen your composition using asymmetry as well. 

Symmetrical forms in an otherwise asymmetrically balanced image can add interesting contrast, and the reverse is also true.

You need to be careful when using symmetry, as a perfectly symmetrical scene has the potential to come across as dull and lifeless. With clever use of lighting and equilibrium, you will be able to create stunning images displaying great symmetry.

 

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  1. Direct the Flow with Leading Lines

 

Leading lines are a powerful but under-utilized tool in compositional arrangement; a shame because they’re excellent at drawing the eye to exactly where you want it with pinpoint precision.

When lines are evident in an image, such as a railway line, the edges of a hallway, winding paths, or a streambed vanishing in the distance, they have the effect of pulling us into the image.

Always ask yourself where the lines are taking you? If you have no definitive answer to the preceding question, or it forces you to the realization that the lines aren’t taking you anywhere, then walk around the scene and find a better angle.

 

While knowledge is power in creating the perfect composition, so is an excellent toolset. Be sure to check out D&O lighting for the latest and greatest in all things photographic, where you will also get some excellent instruction on how to get the most from your equipment.

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