You have already read or heard me go on and on about photo composition. It really is the most vital part of creating an engaging, captivating photo that tells a story and holds the attention of the viewer.
You are in control of the viewer's attention. You have control over where their attention hits the photo (point of fixation) and how they then move their focus to other areas of the photo. The real challenge and taking it to the next level is... creating a hierarchy of focal points and inclusions in the photo to then direct them around the photo in a way that communicates a narrative and a story or simply what your intention of the photo was.
Hope that makes sense. I did start to ramble there! Below is a video that makes it easier to explain as I break this photo down into the 4-step system and point out over 50 composition techniques and tips within this single photo.
Step 1: Prepare and position the camera Camera height - squeeze/expand the background Asymmetrical balance Lighting - direction, strength and quality Shadows, side lighting and textures - affect depth Reflections Atmospheric perspective Lens choice - brings the background forward Vertical and landscape orientation Shooting towards space
Step 2: Position the subject in the frame Visual anchor - the point of fixation Emphasis and dominance of focal points Hierarchy of focal points and visual flow The rule of thirds Left to right Framing Positive and negative space Active space Repetition and pattern Isolation Mergers Juxtaposition - colours, tones, texture, height, shape
Step 3: Position the supporting elements Figure to ground Proximity - unity and abundance Common fate - similarity Scale Lines - horizontal, vertical Lines - different types of diagonal Implied line of sight Converging lines - vanishing and diminishing point Triangles The Fibonacci spiral golden spiral Rhythm, time and motion Colour contrast - triadic and split complementary Gesture and interaction
Step 4: Enhance composition using mobile editing tools Border Patrol Vignetting Removing items Shadows and crushing the blacks Lens flares Removing distracting objects
In this book, I explain over 100 different composition techniques and tools... and have them grouped into a 4-step system. The secret sauce, as you can see from the above photo breakdown... is to combine multiple techniques from each of the four steps of the system.
Articles are great to learn a tip or technique. The fastest transformational way to learn is through training options – here.