photography rules title

Basic Photography Rules To Go By

Photography is art! A single still frame in a scene you can create some pretty powerful emotions and provoke thought. In this post I will break down 10 basic composition rules to go by to create stunning images. With practice of these basic rules you can create some amazing photos.

Leading Lines

leading lines photography

Leading lines are a nice way to lead the eye to a certain direction in your image. It can help create a story in your image, and most importantly keep their attention longer. Roads and rivers are easy choices to practice with, but you can also create those lines in scenery with buildings, and vanishing points. Your eye wants to naturally want to wander in the image to see what’s on the other side.



Balance is a major component of photography. It can be a challenge for some but a nice base rule with getting good balance in photos is definitely working on symmetry. Best practice it to have everything centered. It’s a nice lead in for the viewer and helps keep the eye from leading off to some other part of the image that has less importance.



You can achieve some intriguing images by using depth. An easy way to get that effect is by using your macros. This can help create more depth to an image by focusing the important areas in the foreground and creates a blur with the rest of the image that don’t matter as much.



Cropping can definitely get rid of the unnecessary objects in the shot. By cropping it can help you gain a level of focus on your piece and help keep it visually stimulating. Cropping certain parts out of the scene can create a dramatic feel. It helps create mystery and leaves your mind to fill in the blanks.

View Point

view point

View point is a good way to create some interesting stories. This is an amazing way to get a great perspective shot for the viewer to see something that might be what anyone else sees in situations. Sceneries are a great way to get a feel for view point. Another good practice in an urban setting is by taking photos in areas of tall buildings.



You can keep balance in an image and it doesn’t have to stay symmetrical! Balance can still be achieved  if you have something of similar visual weight in an image. In the above image the balance is created by the water on the left and the cliff side on the right. By looking at the image it’s easy to see one is definitely larger than the other but the amount of visual interest in the water scene helps keep the viewer attentive.

Rule of Thirds

rule of thirds

One of the most important core rules most aspiring photographers will hear a time or two in their careers. When taking photos look into the shot and think of it like it’s broken into thirds horizontally and vertically. This rule can create some fantastic points to a shot that some other basic rules can’t accomplish.

In this shot you can see that the surfer in the frame is taking up right third of the image which creates the impression of movement.


simplified shot

Sometimes less is more. In photography it can be the case in a lot of ways. Our brain can only process a certain amount of information. If you put too much in a shot it might be too much and people might not know what your focal point or message is supposed to be. By simplifying it makes the focus object more prominent.

This can be achieved by removing objects around the focus or you can get the same achievement by zooming in on the object.



Taking pictures with a “triangle” in it is a great way to make your image visually pleasing. The triangle is an imaginary path your eye will travel. If you have objects that help lead the eye from point to point you will find that it will keep the attention of the viewer longer as they connect the points and see the “story” your image in conveying.



Colors are a crucial part of photography. It doesn’t have to be a rainbow or a circus to get color into your image but rather a splash of brightness to catch the eye of the viewer. A good practice would be to get your focal point to have a color vibrance and place it in a scene where the rest of the area is somewhat muted. This helps the viewer understand that the splash of color is what needs to be seen!

By using these basic rules for your photos you can begin to create some amazing pieces! But this doesn’t just stop with photography. You can apply these practices with graphic design or layout design! All of the images in this post have come from which is my personal favorite free do what ever you want high resolution image source!

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