Composition is all about helping the viewer see what the photograph is about almost instantaneously. Without proper use of the elements, a photograph will fail to create visual interest and consequently fail to make a mark in the viewer’s mind. There are many compositional techniques but all images with good composition will consist fundamentally in first, having a clearly-defined subject and background; second, a sense of balance; third, a point of view, and finally fourth, a degree of simplicity. Subject and background is the first thing you may want to consider when you’re taking a photo. What is your goal? What do you want to show in the photograph? Many times as happy-go-lucky shooters, amid their excitement, people will try to include everything in one shot. For instance, you want a photograph of yourself with a huge old castle in the background. People often think that because they need everything in one frame to show “I’m in front of an old Germanic castle”, they need everything (both you and the castle) in one photograph. This is not necessarily true, especially if it’s going to result in an image with a small you and a looming castle behind as well as other people and elements disrupting the photograph. As your own viewer, you might think that there’s nothing wrong with this because you understand what the subject is in the photograph. However, if you show this to someone else, they might have a harder time pointing out what it is you want to say because there are so many things happening that it’s difficult to say what the point of the photograph is. Remember that the decisions you make in composing a photo ought to help contribute to knowing what the subject is in the photo. In this particular example, you can have a nice portrait of the person and still have the castle in the background, and the viewer will still be able to understand through self-interpretation that it is a photo of you with the castle. In this manner, you are helping the viewer’s eye identify what the subject is–you with the castle.
Image by: decor4u