Outdoor Composition: 3 More Techniques (Part 2 of 2)

May 21, 2019

Last week I mentioned how I enjoy incorporating foreground elements, framing and leading lines into the composition of my images to create stronger and more dynamic images. This week I’m sharing three more aspects of composition that, when used well, will strengthen the quality of your captures. Composition is easy to use as you go about capturing your everyday. It’s about being aware and shooting with intent.

Here are three more composition techniques that will bring attention to your subject and help you create stronger photographic images.

1. Centre composition  

One of the first rules of composition I learned as a new photographer was the rule of thirds, which specifies your subject placement should not be centre composed; rather, it’s more pleasing to have your subject placed within the first or last third of a scene. However, this rule is meant to be broken. Nature has a way of being incredibly balanced. When I see a scene in which nature is balanced or mostly balanced, I will often use centre composition. I find so much calm in nature, and I think a nicely balanced image helps infuse a sense of harmony and peace.

ISO 200, 200mm, f3.2, 1/200SS

2. Perspective changes

This is a super fun technique!  I’m drawn to a particular type of image. I thrive on simplicity in my images and there are times I feel like I’m repeating the same image. Perspective change is my favourite compositional technique to add uniqueness, variety and even creativity.

Try shooting up at your subject. I adore the sense of height and freedom implied within this composition. Sometimes shooting up means laying on your back and shooting directly up towards to sky and your subject. Just make sure you’re safety outside of a potential collision path!

ISO 200, 105mm, f3.2, 1/500SS

Or try shooting down at your subject. There’s a beautiful feeling of protection and caring infused into this composition perspective.

ISO 200, 105mm, f3.2, 1/800SS

3. Scale

I adore the sense of little in a vast big world.  I often use this technique to capture my children when we are out in nature.  Nature can be significant, bold and oh so beautiful, and I like to showcase how grande the world around us is.

ISO 100, 35mm, f4, 1/2000SS

Remember these composition techniques when you are outdoors capturing memories. If you take a moment to compose your images thoughtfully, you’ll immediately elevate an image. Enjoy being creative and exploring different types of composition when you are out shooting!