Photographic Composition: tips and rules!

This article will show you how, following just 5 simple rules, you will be able to set up a perfect photographic composition.

The thing that every aspiring photographer dreads the most is to distort the picture, not giving it the honor it deserves.

Or worse, not having the awareness of how to take a picture is a total lack of respect to the subject.

We will start from the basis and take you through your journey to growth in professional photography.

Rule of thirds

The rule of thirds is the principle of photographic composition.

Easy to accomplish, it consists of splitting the set in three horizontal and vertical pieces, in order to get intersections that you will consider your reference points.

The effect?

Here’s an example of photographic composition using the rule of thirds:

Composition Rules 5

Next-generation cameras allow to automatically detect these dividing lines, the same way smartphones do.

The grid often appears automatically and it allows a shot in harmony with the natural dividing lines.

Photographic Composition: Frames

A picture, when enclosed in a frame, has always been able to convey to us a sense of order and care.

Many photographic software let us create some frames, but not only this..

Photographic composition, after an accurate study of the environment and the subject to photograph, allows us to obtain completely natural frames.


Here’s an example!

Photographic Composition2

Everything lies in a careful observation of the object to photograph and in enclosing it, when possible, in a spontaneous frame.

The dominant eye

Another effective technique used in photographic composition, especially in portraits, is that of the dominant eye.

Portraits are the shots that most photographers aim to realize, for they highlight not just the subject, but even the skill and competence of the photographer.

However, obtaining an emotional portrait is not an easy job.

The dominant eye technique consists of placing the eye in the very center of the frame.

At this point, you may be wondering how to do it.

Here’s an example:

Photographic Composition 3

Remember: a good portrait has to arouse strong emotions and highlight the subject’s expressive qualities.

The lens that are mostly recommended for portraits are the 35 1.4 for set portraits, and the 85 1.4 or the 135 1.4 instead to better isolate the subject.

So you see that it is of primary importance to not ever lose sight of the dominant eye in the photographic composition.

Take advantage of the contrasts

When we mention contrasts, we’re not just referring to the situation to photograph, but above all we are talking about the combination of lights and shadows.

Easy to say, eh?

A little bit of light here, a little bit of contrast there, maximum saturation… here’s the contrast!


The contrast’s technique in photographic composition follows very precise rules that must be respected, if you want to obtain a nice work.

A jumble of lights and shadows, of excessive saturation e temperature will make your shot dirty and annoying.

Measure very carefully contrasting elements!

Photographic Composition 4

What do you notice?


Synchrony of colors and balanced contrasts.


Every shot has got to be able to arouse emotions not just through the subject, but also through the colours, or the lack of these: loved by every generation is “Black and White”, the apotheosis of contrast in photographic composition.

Photographic Composition: Use the entire frame.

Ehi, to realize a nice shot you’ve got to get close to the subject!

Amateurs’ and some so-called professional photographer’s most classic mistake is placing themselves light years away from the subject.

The result?


What should be the center of attention in the photo, appears then distorted and blurred as if, in reality, it was one with the surrounding environment.

Using the entire frame gives your photographic composition a result that is clear and, most importantly, in accordance with your intentions.

Placing yourself too far away from the subject, moreover, will make it appear very small and your shot will not be clear and impactful.

Have you focused your attention on a peculiar detail?


Have no fear, get close and catch it!

Professional Photographer

But at the expense of every photographic composition, remember this: photography is an art, and if a subject, a landscape, or something else arouse your emotions, make it your, take a picture! You will assimilate the rules by practicing

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