Beyond looking and seeing as humans, we feel an image. The composition is what makes a picture say thousand words.

The composition is all about rules, position, balance and spacing of the subject. The true purpose of the nicely composed image is to draw viewer’s attention to the subject without any human intervention.

Image balance

Most ignored yet vital is balancing an image. It simply makes or breaks the shot. You will be intrigued at how a single dot can transform the look of an image.

Below is the image of woods.


Photo Credit: Dianne Lacourciere

The Vital component to be noticed here is the moon. Without the Moon, the sky would have been quite flat. We also create mindset on objects, try replacing the moon with an imaginary dot or hide the moon with your fingers and the image would feel different.

Sun, Moon, Mountains etc. are automatically interpreted as heavenly bodies and our brain feels an astonishing difference when the moon is replaced with a same sized dot. Gateway from this is to be aware of the objects that can balance or imbalance our subject, as in our case not keeping the moon in the shot might have ruined the image.

Rule of thirds

Dead center framing should be avoided as a beginner. Rule of thirds advises to keep the subject in the thirds of the frame rather than keeping in the middle. To truly understand this, we divide our frame into three equal parts horizontally and vertically.


The key here is to put the subject in either upper-thirds or lower-thirds. Now, what area to choose does not have any hard and fast rule however, portraits feels much better in upper-right section and plants or flowers in lower-right.


Photo credit: Michael TO



Negative spacing

Empty spaces are an important key component for both the rule of thirds and image balance. Ignoring, where the non-interesting empty spaces should go, can ruin the feel of an image.

Consider these two portraits.


Photo Credit : Elizalyon


Photo Credit: Will Guthrie

The first image has the subject on the dead left while the later one on the right. The second image feels much better because the balancing of negative space is pulled perfectly. Another key component to notice is none of these images contain any distracting objects thus becoming a perfect subject for negative spacing.

Proper spacing works like a charm especially with floral and pet shots. Also with practice negative spacing can yield dramatic results.


Photo Credit: Sheryl Salisbury

Breaking the rules

Imagination should not be tamed. Every tried and tested rule of photography can be challenged and be broken. Rebels can sometimes achieve better results. Quoting Gautam Budhha

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

An example of the perfectly composed shot with dead center framing.


Photo Credit: Lisa Widerberg

In fact, the image would feel bad when composed with the rule of thirds.

Another example of perfectly composed street photography shot depicting “ramp” life in the real world, titled: World’s Stage.


Photo Credit: Jianwei Yang

So, Experiment, Discover, explore, click and share.

As always feel free to drop in your views and questions in the comment section below.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.