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Good photographs -- that is, photographs that are visually compelling to the viewer -- typically excel in three main ways:

1) They usually contain interesting subject matter
2) They have captured dynamic lighting conditions
3) They have a strong sense of composition

Composition, which is essentially the act of composing content within a two-dimensional frame, is a very creative process that cannot be deconstructed into a simple set of geometric strategies and rules.

That said, there are several compositional guidelines that can help to improve the work of any photographer. This lesson examines some of the more popular compositional guidelines and concepts for photographers.

(Most images can be clicked for an enlarged view.)

Topics Covered:

  • Rule of Thirds
  • Visualizing the Grid
  • A Guideline, Not a Rule
  • Leading Lines
  • The Impact of Shapes
  • Negative Space
  • Centering Your Subject
  • Finding Your Point of View
  • Getting in Close
  • Rhythm and Movement

Equipment Used:


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