3 simple composition tips to improve your photos

By Louis Kleynhans


Understanding composition is something that every photographer should take time to do. Without the need to invest in any expensive equipment, appreciating the elements of good composition will undoubtedly enhance your photographic work. Developing your photographic eye is something that comes naturally to some, but for others, it takes time and effort to hone you visual skills and abilities as a photographer. I’m a very technical photographer and it can take me a while on a shoot to get the composition right.


Here are a selection of hints and tips that will help you when considering the composition of your work.


Step 1 – Don’t try to be perfect

It’s important to understand that there’s no such thing as ‘perfect’ composition. It is possible to have poorly and well composed photographs. There are many elements to the composition of a photograph, each acting as a simple guideline that will help you to take stronger and more engaging images.


Step 2 – Simplicity

One of the main things to consider is how the elements within the shot relate to each other and therefore what you include or leave out of the photo. There is often a temptation to fill a shot with many points of interest as possible, but when composition is concerned, it’s better to be selective about what you include in the photo. Some of the most dramatic photographs have very simple but effective composition, the eye is led into the image and the viewer can engage with a good photograph.


Step 3 – Landscape Composition

Using composition effectively when working with landscapes is very important. The drama of a great landscape photo is based upon its composition and structure. Ask yourself what you want your shot to be about. Is it about the water, the mountains in the distance, the horizon, the sunset or the rocks in the foreground? Which elements do you want to emphasise within your photo?