Photography Composition Tips For Better Portraits

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Learn From Others

When we’re learning to compose good shots, we can get some wonderful creative ideas by looking at others’ work.

It’s not that we want to copy their style, instead we can absorb and remember the ideas and concepts; then apply that knowledge when we create our own images.

Here are a few Photography Composition Tips that will help take your photography from ordinary to extra-ordinary.

Learn the Basics

There are many wonderful resources out there either on the web or in book form that can help you learn the basics of photography. You need to know how to work your camera so you get the proper exposure. Knowing how to use your shutter speed, f-stops and ISO settings are important to achieve the shots you envision in your mind. Choosing the proper lens also takes a bit of thinking and using a tripod is a must in certain situations.

Use of Foreground Elements

A foreground element in a photo will be the first thing that a viewer will see. Sometimes people will use a prop, a gate, a rock, a tree or a small object to grab attention and lead the viewer into the photograph. Using foreground elements will give depth and meaning to the rest of the image.

Use of Standard Compositional Elements. Diagonal lines is one of the most effective compositional tools that is used to lead the viewer to the main point of interest. Setting up the shot by using an imaginary triangle will help take the viewer to from one point to the next and back again to the start, giving a feeling of completeness. This is a very useful tool when setting up portraits that contain more than two people. The use of S-curves and shapes are also a great way of leading the eye around the photo.

Using Light

Nothing adds more drama or more interest to an image than good use of light. Proper use of light and shadows give the image a three dimensional feel. Painting Masters of the past knew that the balance between light and shadows was of primary importance in giving their paintings and portraits life. Being able to identify and use available light sources in an artistic and interesting way is an art that takes plenty of practice and patience. Composing your shot to make use of this light can take your photos from good to spectacular.
Points to Remember

Here’s some final Composition tips for you to remember when composing your image:
~ Make sure your horizon line is level.
~ Look for distracting elements. Poles coming from heads, wires etc.
~ Watch your depth of field.
~ Keep it simple.

Being critical of what you see through the viewfinder and using these composition skills will take your images from being merely good shots to absolutely amazing and creative photographic art.

Once you practice using these simple tips, it will become second nature and your shots will improve every single time. Spend the time to practice and learn from each shot you take. You will start to see a difference in your photography and then it will become effortless.

Happy Shooting! :-)

Scott

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