Breaking The Rules Of Composition

7 Building Blocks of Photography 2

The rules of composition are great to get you started on your photography journey, but they are not 'hard and fast' - like, you must do this kind of rules. They are guides to some well recognised things that work when composing a picture. However when you can break the rules, you often get a far more eye catching image. So how do you begin to break the rules of composition when you're just starting out?

My advice would be never be afraid to experiment, try new angles and different ways to position the elements of your photo within the viewfinder. For example, it's said a portrait should have the person looking into the larger space of the composition. Yes, it looks OK, but if you do the opposite and have them look to the edge instead it gives the shot a more 'edgy' feel. I'm not going to give you an example on purpose because the key to mastering photography is to try stuff out and see what happens. Consider this to be one of your first experiments...

Mastering composition (and photography in general) is done by trying things to see what happens. Don't be afraid in case it doesn't work. Like I said in the video I failed my way to success. And remember, all those stunning images you see posted by others, in magazines etc are just the ones they want you to see. I promise they got it 'wrong' many times before they got it 'right'.

If you’d like me to help you as I've helped many thousands of others, complete The Masterclass in Photography and you’ll know everything you need to master your camera, have a great understanding on using light and composition. 

If you're already super good with these things but want to go to the next level and truly think like a photographer, the 7 Building Blocks of Photography will give you the thought process used by pro photographers to seamlessly connect the creative and technical aspects of photography for any image…

And before I go a huge thank you to our model Karina Kinga-Kiss. Please go say hi to her on Instagram... @karinakiss

Be well till next time… 

mike signature clear

PS: Check me out on Trustpilot and see what others say. I promise, I do know my stuff...


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3 Landscape Tips

vietnam-txt-streamLandscape photography is one of those areas where patience, thinking it through and taking your time pays dividends.  We have all seen a scene we want to capture but sadly we’re in a hurry, so we leap out the car and just grab a shot without giving it too much thought.

This may or may not result in a great shot. But have you thought to ask yourself if there’s more to be had from a location than the obvious? You have to build upon an initial idea. Explore possibilities.

I was in Vietnam driving through the mountains when we came upon this amazing view of rice terraces. We stopped so the film crew could shoot some aerial shots with their drone so Simon and I took the opportunity to look around and shoot this video.

As we drove up the hill I’d noticed one of the little paths that wind their way through the paddies so we went for a walk to see what it would yield.

Almost straight away we came upon some greenery we could use as foreground, which can frame a scene and give it more depth. In some cases just finding a bit of foreground can make or break an image.

But don’t forget to look around you. It’s all to easy to miss a beautiful detail of the landscape that’s right next to you because you’re absorbed by what’s in front.

You have to concentrate and really look at a scene. In the first shot of the last scenario there’s a stick poking up on the left. I didn’t really notice it to begin with. It wasn’t until I checked the shot in the LCD it became apparent.

So how do we remove it? Well obviously there’s Photoshop but I’m lazy. A few steps to the side will change the geometry of the image. It makes things align differently so you can lose unwanted clutter from the composition.

So besides making sure the light is appropriate for the scene, here are 3 landscape photography tips to consider.

  1. Take time – think of other possibilities for the location
  2. Find some foreground. It could make a world of difference
  3. Look to the side as well as in front. You might have missed something

These things are not functions of your camera. They are functions of you thinking like a photographer.


3 Landscape Tips

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