Exploring framing & composition

by am109145

When searching the web I have come across different perspectives when it comes to framing and composition. One of the websites (WEBSITE 1) I have found focuses on the rules of composition establishes why these rules work, another website that I have found focuses on the actually framework and composition of the subjects within the where it outlines certain rules within photography such as the ‘rule of thirds’, ‘balancing elements’ etc.





Although both of the websites described above are fairly similar I have found that the ’10 top photography composition’ website (WEBSITE 2)  a lot more useful as the photographs taken to describe each rule are much more evident of the concept/rule that they are taking about.

All research and knowledge from this point onwards has been collated from:



When composing your subject it’s important to image a grid 3×3 square grid where there are 9 segments. The rule of thirds simply outlines that your subject/area of focus should be located on where the lines intersect each other. On the photograph taken from the website name above we can see that this photographer has placed the most important element being the lighthouse/tower on the right hand side where the two lines intersect. It is clear that this is the area of most importance.

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Image by Trey Ratcliff.




As mentioned in the rule of thirds above it is nice to have your subject off centre on the points where the lines intersect into each other. however if the rest of the frame is empty then sometimes the image can look odd. There the technique of balancing elements is required. As we can see in the image below taken from WEBSITE 2 the main focal point is the sign that is in the foreground this sign says ‘Out’. Although it has been placed on the right hand side at the points of intersection on the rule of thirds diagram we immediately see that if the building in the background was not there then there would a imbalance.

It is important to makes sure you images are not imbalance, maybe take a photograph and then take another few using other elements in the frame to create a balanced image. 

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Image by Shannon Kokoska.


As human beings we have a tendency to be drawn to be ‘drawn along lines’, meaning that we are almost programmed to take ourselves on a visual journey through creating lines; whether they may be vertical, horizontal , curvy etc. is dependant on the content in-front of us and the way our brains interpret what is being seen.

As a photographer it is important to consider lines within the composition of a image the lines which are seen by the you are most likely the lines that the audience will also see therefore we must utilise our eyes in drawing the audience into the image through ‘correct’ composition, dependant on our subject.

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Image by Pierre Metivier.


Considering symmetry within photographs is important, taking photographs of houses usually requires  levels of symmetry such does taking a photo of a window frame or something of a similar content. This particular website states that although symmetry is beneficial in capturing a crisp photograph that provides balance for the eye we can challenge this by adding small subjects within our frame to create a slight off-balance to create excitement within our image. In the image below taken by Fabio Montalto we can see he has clearly used a full frame of symmetry and pattern however dissected this slightly by adding a red bucket into the frame on the bottom right hand corner. A small alteration however defiantly a beneficial one to making the image more interesting.

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Image by Fabio Montalto.


Considering  view point is crucial. All of the rules of composition from the images shown above required consideration of viewpoint before shooting. You viewpoint has a huge impact on the composition of elements within your frame!

Different types of viewpoints to consider shooting from:

– Eye level

– Bird eye (high view point)

– Low level (almost looking upwards to the scene/subject)

– Side angle

-From the back

– Long distance shot

– Close up

– Extreme close up

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Image byronsho.


When focusing on a particular subject it is important to consider the background, if the subject is intense and has great character then it is important to consider a plain background. In the image below by Phillip Naderer the use of a plain background really gives the subject great emphasis if the background was busy the subject would get lost within it and the power that the image has to the eye would be lost.

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Image byPhilipp Naderer.


As photographs are 2D it is important that in the images you take there is a sense of depth in your photograph, by creating depth in your image the representation of what the human eye saw at the time the photograph was taken is much more evident. By there being depth there is a sense/element of a three-dimensional perspective. In shots like the one below the audience are really able to grasp the true scenery and subjects.

To create depth: You can add objects into the foreground, middle-ground and background.

Overlapping:  ‘where you deliberately partially obscure one object with another. The human eye naturally recognises these layers and mentally separates them out, creating an image with more depth.’

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Image by Jule Berlin



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Image by Sally Crossthwaite.


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Image by Hien Nguyen.