When you are out with your camera and you are wondering about composition, yes you should be wondering about composition, think about geometric shapes, lines (vertical and horizontal) and the rule of thirds.
They can be a powerful element that can have a dynamic impact on your picture. Lines and shapes are helpful in adding mood and atmosphere to your finished product or creating a desired effect. They can be useful in leading the eyes from one part to another or leading the eye to a particular part of your image or another part.
Placing a shape against a contrasting background makes them more interesting. A great use of shapes are also silhouettes. The use of curved lines or circles and straight lines has a great ability to create tension in your picture.
Horizontal lines can be powerful in creating photos that are peaceful. They may have the ability to convey restfulness and stability. The most common horizontal lines to be found in photographs are normally horizons, but be careful not to run the horizon directly through the centre of the photograph dividing the equal amounts of the sky and landscapes.
This may often have a negative effect and possibly create a dull image. Although this is not always considered the rule.
A great practice to pick out the more impressive part of your scene, for example sunsets with dramatic clouds. Also keep in mind that broken horizons may lead to a dull feeling photograph.
If you want to add rhythm to your photo, look for layers of horizontal lines. The rhythm can than become the focus or subject of the photo itself. Don´t forget diagonal lines.
Another good trick when using horizontal lines is to try it to try to keep the lines square with the edges of you frame and to also shoot your image in a horizontal format.
Vertical lines can convey various different moods from grandeur and dignity to rigidity. Objects such as buildings and people represent horizontal lines. If you want to create a very powerful and dynamic picture combine vertical lines with horizontal lines.
If you really want to emphasize the power of the vertical line, try switching your camera to the vertical plane. As with all photography this is not always the rule.
If you want the lines to appear as if they are moving out of the top of the image, it then becomes useful to leave your camera in a landscape format. Take your photo so that the lines move from the top to the bottom of your image.
Diagonal lines that are used in your image are often considered the most interesting. They represent movement and speed. They can lead you into the frame of the photo and to the centre of interest. A good idea is to avoid splitting the frame of your image in two by running diagonal lines from one corner of the picture to the other.
This may cause the image to lose it’s drive. To achieve a more balanced photo within the confines of your frame try to create a diagonal that starts just to one side of the corner and travels to the one side of the opposite corner. Curved lines within your frame can also be representative of moods such as grace and dignity.
If you really want to add an interest look for different ways to incorporate interesting diagonal lines into your image. Keep in mind when you are taking photos that it is worth remembering the different moods and feelings that they can convey.
Next time you go out, come back with photos with these shapes in them: square, circle, triangle, diagonal line, vertical line, horizontal line, semi-circle, s shape, star (this maybe the hardest). Once you have done that, go back and break the rules.