Photographic Composition [Entertaining the eyes]

Driving your audience’s attention - by using composition



Definition of composition - Google:

– ‘composition in photography can de defined in the position of the object in a frame in such a way that the viewers eye is automatically drawn to the most interesting area of the capture’.

Visual aspects of composition might lead to a certain distortion of reality where the story or message you want to convey is built within a framing strategy.


3 topics to keep in mind when directing your audience`s attention


Building a story

In order to compose in a chronological or in a photographic matter try:


  • Framing the subject in the way, that the story tells itself.

  • Placing your subject in different areas of the screen or off the picture and this way you will change perspective.

  • Centering subject/object in relation to the image

  • Aiming an expected audience reaction. (Subject/object in the center of the image becomes the center of the audience of attention.)


The rule of thirds

It consists of a 9 square grid. Where the subject is placed closer to the intersection of the lines, leading our perspective to change.


As the example above you can try the following:

  • Place your model in one of the vertical lines

  • Place the model in the center on the main column

  • Place your object or model within the intersections of the Thirds as above

Note: you can try it when photographing or also when reframing the image while editing in the post-production. Also if your model eye touches one of the intersections of the line you tend to build a connection with the viewers on your story line.



For video you might try the following experiment:


IN relation to the story you build, if the subject is moving left to right, the model/subject seems to be moving forward and Right to left looks like the subject is moving backward (or going back somewhere in the story).

MOST IMPORTANT: Move your subject around and see what kind of different playing with different angles and see what happens. it all depends on the context you are developing.




Golden spiral

The Golden Spiral or Golden Ration can be found in nature in many ways through history. Humans have been drawing in some ways for thousands of years. We also then to find it in flowers, snails, and even shaping galaxies in the universe.

By placing your model in different places of the spiral you also tend to direct the viewer's eyes in a certain direction. as also the Rule of thirds it just seems more pleasing to the eyes.





Symmetry vs. Asymmetry

We tend to enjoy symmetric visual aspects and that seems to go from any kind of beauty we admire, not only that ut we also tend to be interested to the odd, different or even sometimes disturbing, which the context is up to the artist's intention, cousing some kind of intentional reaction. We should always remember that to generate an image that sometimes you might go beyond rules. To create symmetry and/or asymmetry you might try:


  • Cropping your frame could also intensifying your message and subject/model.

  • Placing your subject out of placing form all rules above

  • Having in mind a message that by default wants to cause specifics viewer reaction

A quick tip: when creating video for youtube or making regular images, you might want to leave around 2 fingers distance from the top of the screen allowing the eyes to connect with the viewer.

Depth of field

As we spoke before on you "why is focus an important aspect of the image - blog post" by opening aperture it might allow you to separate the image from the background by creating a type of blurry in the back or front of your model ensuring a clear message on your compostion as above (you know who or what you should be looking at).

NOTE: the aperture in the images above was 1.8 with a 50mm Canon Lens


Diana Vreeland (former editor in chief Vogue)

‘The eye has to travel’

Meaning that our own eyes want to be entertained.

Please let us know any questions you might have any topic that might interest you on your youtube channel comments or here in the comments below on the blog. feel also free to e-mail us with questions on info@apinspiring.com


Equipment used: Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Standard Autofocus Lens: https://amzn.to/2vwUG0B Main Camera, Mirrorless, full fram Canon EOS RP: https://amzn.to/2yDgLMm Memory Card: https://amzn.to/2vzFgc5 Velbon Tripod used: https://amzn.to/2U4CLbO The microphone used: https://amzn.to/38PstQO LED GVM Lightning - Continuous Led Lights: https://amzn.to/2U6XRGk (it comes with a case and small stands) NOTE: We Learn is a series of videos by apinspiring.com where we aim to improve ourselves from a philosophical point of view, through art! We consider ourselves "learners of the journey" and we`d like to share and exchange inspiration among the community of arts and art lovers. This episode we`ll be chit-chatting about Lighting & Color within photography composition. If you have any feedback or question for us, please reach out to info@apinspiring.com

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