O'Reilly logo

Nikon D5200 Digital Field Guide by J. Dennis Thomas

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Appendix A: General Composition Tips

Photography, like painting, drawing, or just about any visual arts medium, has general rules of composition. These guidelines have been developed through the ages because, to put it simply, they work. That isn’t to say that every time you put your eye up to the viewfinder, you should strictly adhere to all or even any of the so-called rules of composition; sometimes the subject calls for a different approach. However, when you’re just starting out, it’s good to pay attention to these tips because they will definitely help your images stand out from the general snapshots that many people capture with their phone cameras.

Eventually, following the guidelines will become second nature to you. It’s important to know the rules of photography because, once you know them, it’s easier to recognize when you should break them.

Keep It Simple

One of the easiest ways to create an interesting composition is to keep it simple. Having a strong subject that is easy to pick out and focus on holds the viewer’s attention. Having a slew of competing elements in a composition causes it to be messy and distracting, which often leaves the viewer confused.

An easy technique for achieving simplicity in a photograph is to use a wide aperture and a shallow depth of field to isolate the subject from a busy background. By causing the background to go out of focus, you help the subject to stand out better.

Another easy way to isolate your subject is by changing your perspective. ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required