Good Picture Composition – improve your image framing

Good Picture Composition – improve your image framing

If you want to improve your image framing there are some very simple steps you can take. The first step is to bear in mind that even small adjustments in the positioning of your camera can have a dramatic effect on the framing of your photographs.

Camera angle and position

The slightest re-positioning of your camera, up, down, to the left or right, forward or back can improve instantly your image framing. Consequently, it can make a tremendous difference to good picture composition and the atmosphere of the picture.

Taken on the same camera, the two photographs on this page are pretty simple. With no cropping, both are of exactly the same scene. Not only that, but they have been taken within seconds of each other. The difference is that I have adjusted  the shooting angle very slightly for the second picture.

improve your image framing, good composition
Picture A
A pleasant enough scene. However, by making just a small adjustment of camera angle we can begin improving the composition a great deal. Let’s start by hiding that light-toned sky, and the ugly telegraph pole can go as well. See the photograph B below

Better Composition

However, the overall effect in the second picture B is much more pleasing. This is partially because in the second picture the change of angle has the added bonus of hiding the ugly telegraph pole beside the bridge seen in A.

improve your image framing, good picture composition
Picture B
Notice that by raising the camera position a little and pointing the lens angle down slightly, the telegraph pole has gone, and so has that distracting sky

Create an illusion of depth

As a result, and simply by raising the camera level a couple of inches. a much stronger illusion of depth is created. The foreground leaves at the top are now lower in the frame resulting in these dark leaves partially covering and breaking up the outline of the top of the bridge. In fact, the leaves are now being used as a device to create a separate layer.

Even the outline of the dark leaves in the foreground is looking more substantial.

There was no need to overdo this adjustment in camera position. However, the angle and position of the camera has been altered just enough. Notice that it is now hiding completely that intrusive telegraph pole. Plus – it has broken up that straight outline of the top of the bridge.

Cut out the sky

Also, this slightly higher shooting angle of our second picture B now looks downwards a little. Hence it has the advantage of cutting out the light-tones sky altogether. Plus, the sky is now less distracting and the composition of the picture takes on a more intimate feel. Added to this, the eye is now kept within the composition and is not tempted to wander off into the empty sky.

So, if you really want to improve your image framing, remember that small adjustment in the camera angle and position can make a big difference in the improvement of your composition.

Read more about Good Composition

You will learn much more about how to improve your composition on a photography workshop with Philip Dunn.

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