This piece explains the rules of composition, how focusing on the unexpected can make an image interesting, how we can turn it on its head to create an unusual image and how to use more fluid shapes to give a sense of movement. This and more below:
OBEY THE RULE OF THIRDS
This technique can be used across Photography, illustration and design: split the image into nine equal parts with two vertical and horizontal lines. The main subjects of the image – for instance, a model – should be split down the middle by one of these lines.
FOCUS ON THE UNEXPECTED
Don’t always focus on the obvious elements in an image; bring the focal point to the foreground for a more interesting image or design. The more recognisable the background object that you aren’t focusing on, the more effective the composition
FLIP IT ON ITS HEAD
It’s easy enough to turn a photo around to create an unusual image. Try using puddles as a mirror, or focus on the reflection solely. If the subject is interesting enough, bring a hint of it into the shot to create anticipation and interest.
LEAD THEM IN
If there isn’t a main focal point to your design or photograph, look at everyday shapes and forms that can lead the viewer in and around the image. Look to use more fluid shapes to give a sense of movement.
GROUP AND REPEAT
Repeat visual elements of the design throughout the layout. You can repeat the colour, shape and texture. Items relating to each other can be grouped close together. When several items are placed in close proximity to each other, they become one visual unit rather than several separate units.
IT’S ABOUT WHAT YOU DON’T SEE
Give your central subject space – lots of negative space. Less clutter in the design focuses the eye. In Photography, using the sky is a great way to create this space. Shoot the top of a streetlight or building, or try to capture a lone element flying in or out of shot.
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