design · photography · reverse engineer

Basic Photography Composition Rules

The Process of taking pictures comes along with different composition rules that will help our vision to set in a different and better way. I’ve read so many times that there is no rules for photography, but these simple techniques will improve the quality of any picture.



Photography found on Petr Vinklarek’s board on Pinterest (


The Rule of Thirds is notorious on this picture, and first we can see the puppy as the principal object of the picture and ocupying two of the 4 intersections of the grid. Then the level of the grass next to the puppy will function as a horizontal point.  These two function really good to give balance to the picture and to focus on the main point of the picture, in this case the dog. A depth of field is visible here too.


Photo taken by Priscilla Custodio (me)


I’ve tried to immitate the picture of the puppy, and I know the lighthing is really bad, but the rule of thirds is really obvious and that works. The toy is the main element as the puppy in the first example, and the book gives the balance to the picture.


lead lines

Picture by Jose Alvarado, found in webpage(

lead linesl

The lead lines in this picture give us the sensation of volume, depth, dynamism and perspective. These two are defined by the road, guiding our vision in a certain way. Is like we are following the picture depending on the lines.

lead ll

Picture by me (Priscilla Custodio) , front door of Camden building.


lead ll5

As I was trying to copy the lead of the lines on the first example I took the entrance and the front door as “the focus point”, because the lines on the sides guide your attention to that specific part of the picture. I also took it from a certain point to give it more perspective.


depth of field

Photo by Jose Alvarado (twentyfiveimages), found in FB page Jose Alvarado Photography (

depth of fieldeee

This picture was really interesting because the shallow depth of field is not like the other pictures. The main element and the focus point is not on the front like it usually is, we can see the the depth of field on the glass of champagne in front of the picture and on the very background of the image. The message on the frame is the focus point and the glass vase next to it has the same sharpness because they are at the same distance.


Photo by me( Priscilla Custodio)


I used the bottle of water and the letter ‘P’ to immitate the first example. And the depth of field is clear because how blurry is the bottle on the front, and how the letter ‘P’ is the focus point along with the candle next to it. The background is also blurry, making more obvious the focus point on the middle. These will be the “important part” of the picture.


These three basic elements are really good to beggin with a good understanding of how we can balance our pictures and make them more visually comfortable. The examples I used from the professional photographer show an interesting combination of more than on rule of composition, and I think it makes the pictures look even better. I’ve learned that no matter what your style is at taking pictures — following some rules will always improve the quality of any photography.



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