Composition (photography)

Polaroid photograph of a country road. Photo is divided into an even grid of 3 rows and 3 columns representing the 'rule of thirds'. Caption: Composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements in a work of art or a photograph.

Consider the following:

  • How does the photograph first attract our attention (salience)?

  • How are the people or objects in the photograph placed in relation to each other? Ie does one object seem to be placed in front of the other (foregrounding)?

  • Are the components arranged in any particular pattern?

  • Do you see any geometric shapes?

  • Are the lines of the photograph straight or curving, thick or thin?

  • Do any visual elements repeat?

  • Is the visual weight of the photograph balanced, on each side, top to bottom or diagonally?

Find out more about composition.