Composition is an important element in photography, which refers to an arrangement of subjects on a photo. The idea of photography composition is to select the elements for an image and put them in a proper order, which pleases the viewer’s eye and helps the photographer to tell a story and render feelings.
From the ancient times people have notices that some shapes, particular number of objects and a definite arrangement of elements within the work of art attracts the viewer. Thanks to these observations, today almost every photographer is familiar with the basic rules, which enhance the composition of an image.
Rule of Odds
According to the rule of odds, it is advisable to include an odd number of subjects in a photo. An odd number of elements is considered to make the image more interesting and aesthetically appealing to the human eye, while an even number adds symmetry to the image, which often dull and looks unnatural.
The fact that triangles included in a photo will attract the viewer more than any other geometrical shape is connected with the rule of odds.
Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is a key rule for all visual artists to follow. It consists in keeping the subject out of the center within a photo. To observe the rule of thirds, the photographer should divide the image into three parts horizontally and vertically. The best place to put objects is at the intersection of the imaginary lines. The objects and areas of interest can also be laid near one of the lines, for example it’s a good idea to put he horizon below or above the center.
Read more about the rule of thirds in Photography e-Book Chapter 15 - Rule of Thirds.
The rule of thirds is closely related to the Golden Mean, which dated back to Ancient Greece, where the theory was invented. It is very similar to the rule of thirds, but more obscure. You’ll need to draw a diagonal line from the upper left corner to the lower right corner (the line AB). Then from the other two corners draw lines perpendicular to the line AB. Place the subject at the intersection of these lines. Actually, the intersections of the lines in Golden Mead and in the rule of third are almost in the same places.
The Golden Ratio is another example of the rule of thirds, which was also invented by ancient Greeks. The Golden Ratio is equal to 1,618. In photography, we can speak about the golden rectangle, in which the ratio of the longer side to the shorter is the golden ratio. The photo is divided into several rectangles, and the number of rectangles is also strictly defined. Each succeeding number after 1 is equal to the sum of the two preceding numbers, for example 1,1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 etc. Thus the golden spiral is created.
The Golden Ratio has been used by artists and architectures since the Renaissance. The examples of applying the rule are the Acropolis, Leonardo da Vinci’s works including Mona Lisa, The Sacrament of the Last Supper by Salvador Dali, etc.
Read more about the Golden Ratio.
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