The Rules of Composition in Photography

The rules of composition in photography were created as a general guideline for what works in good photos. In my opinion, there is no right or wrong way to do photography. Many times it’s all about the perspective of the photographer or the viewer of the photograph as well as the interests and opinions that may separate what a good picture really should look like. Every photographer though should still consider the composition rules as a great starting point when taking photos if they are trying to become better at photography. Once they understand these, their photography composition is improved and thinking outside of the guidelines to create a stunning image becomes more natural.

Flickr balls

Flickr balls by Stephen Thomas

“The so-called rules of photographic composition are, in my opinion, invalid, irrelevant and immaterial” – Ansel Adams

“Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph, is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk.” – Edward Weston

There are many types of rules and guidelines to follow when taking photographs. We will be listing many of the common and maybe not so common below and providing a link to a gallery of inspiration for each one.

Rule of Thirds

Leading Lines



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