50 Photography Composition Tips

A distilled version of practical photography tips you can try out:



  1. Tilt your camera (dutch angle)
    2. Leading lines
  2. Start with a black background
  3. Add white space around the head of your subject
  4. Use a flash to add contrast
  5. Diagonal lines from the edges of your frame
  6. Subtract from the frame
  7. Minus- exposure compensation (-1, -2)
  8. Eye contact/ no eye contact
  9. Crouch down for ‘superman effect’
  10. Shoot looking down
  11. Focus on the edges of your frame
  12. Clean background
  13. Use an LCD screen for accurate framing
  14. See the world in monochrome (high contrast b/w preview)
  15. Make at least 10 photos of each scene (study contact sheets)
  16. Look for curves
  17. Gaussian blur in photoshop to check figure- to-ground
  18. Put yourself in the photo (self-portrait)
  19. Make triangle compositions
  20. To create depth, focus on the background
  21. Focus on one detail (hands)
  22. Wide-angle lenses are more dynamic (28mm, 35mm)
  23. Photos without emotion are boring
  24. The simpler your composition, the better
  25. Draw red lines on your photos after you shoot them
  26. Photograph legs in a ‘V’ shape
  27. Look for colorful things/scenes
  28. Photograph textures
  29. Golden rectangle
  30. Fibonacci spiral
  31. Strip away the superfluous
  32. Study renaissance painting (Leonardo da Vinci)
  33. Photography is poetry without words
  34. Center-eye composition
  35. Practice composition on trees
  36. Look for the frame in the frame
  37. Shoot in ‘P’ (program) mode to focus on composition
  38. Your eyes look at the brightest part of the photo
  39. Use an LCD grid overlay (if you have one)
  40. Look down and up
  41. Practice composition on family members
  42. Photograph hand-gestures
  43. Monochrome is easier for composition
  44. Photograph in elevators for reflections
  45. Look at your photos as small thumbnails
  46. Follow your gut for composition (not brain)
  47. Emotion is more important than composition
  48. Shoot how you feel
  49. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

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