Composition is the arrangement of all the elements that make up the scene in a photograph. Here are our top 6 rules to help you frame your photos, but always remember - while there are guidelines, there are no hard and fast rules.
Improve your composition by being thoughtful, bold and prepared to experiment.
1. Simplify the scene
Declutter the background to draw attention to your subject.
2. Rule of thirds
Instead of placing your subject centre-frame, split the frame into thirds. Imagine a noughts and crosses board of two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. Position your subject on these lines, or where they intersect.
3. Fill the frame
Too much 'negative' or unused space might not work for your photo. You could get closer to your subject on these lines, or zoom in to fill the frame.
4. Diagonal lines
Diagonal lines bring dynamism and energy to your composition, providing a sense of depth when they converge, or crossover other lines.
5. High or low
Experiment with a bird's eye view (getting above the subject) or a worm's eye view (getting below) to create a compelling perspective.
Improve your composition by revisiting your work and studying the work of other photographers. Look at photos you like, and note why different elements work well visually.
EXTRA - photography composition project
Why not take it further and put it into practice? Try our mini-project and produce 5 compositions of the same subject, using different angles for each. Follow the rules outlined, and then break them. Don't be afraid to be unorthodox.
City Academy run photography classes across London - practice your composition and get hands-on practical advice from professional photographers in our wide range of courses: