Unlike technical aspects of photography, artistic aspects cannot really be easily defined and applied to every photo. Probably the most important element of any photograph is its composition. The composition is what makes or breaks your photograph and yet not every composition rule will work well with every photo. It’s up to you to decide what works the best. However, two things will always work well: simplicity and balance. Decide what your photo is about; what do you want to be the center of the visual interest; what your subject is and what’s not; and compose the photo accordingly.There are several composition rules. I wrote about the rule of thirds here. Another important composition rule is the golden triangle rule.The golden triangle is pretty simple and works the best with lines but almost every photo will benefit from applying it. All you have to do it to imagine lines going through your photo. The image below shows two large triangles (the top one – lighter blue one, and the bottom one – darker blue one).
Now, imagine drawing a line from the corner of the image towards the central line (under 90 degree angle). That line will form two more triangles which is a total of three triangles – large one and two smaller ones. All you have to do it to frame your shot so that your subject fills one of these three triangles. The framing does not have to be precise; a rough framing will do just fine.
You can see in my photo below what works the best. I took this photo in Pompeii, Italy. The first one is the original one while the other two are manipulated to help me show you how applying the golden triangle rule benefits your composition.
Popmeii is such a sad and yet beautiful place with all the antic ruins and buried city. The history and/or colors of the place are not very bright. I guess that’s why I like this picture. The sky is bright blue and the photo looks fresh, unlike the rest of dusty Pomepii.
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