Sunday, November 29, 2015



I decided to continue writing about smart phone photography. In my last blog post I went through 6 tips about how you can make your smart phone photography even better. If you haven't read the previous blog post you will find it here. I decided to go through all the tips one by one. Explain it a bit more depth. Today I write about composition.

Last time I wrote shortly about it like this:
"This is very important. Rule of thirds, negative space, diagonals, leading the eye...there are plenty of things to consider but most important especially in Instagram is to simplify. You are looking either at someone's single pic or at someone's grid in small size on your phone. You will decide in matter of seconds, will you or will you not follow this feed. Not only one pic has to be good but all those pics have to be good as a grid. It is a good idea to keep things simple. Begin your composition with your main subject. Add or arrange things as long as you find the balance."

I guess with this you are very familiar. When building an interesting composition this works very well. Amount of fruits, plates, ingredients etc. 1, 3, 5 looks better than 2, 4, 6 like you see above. 

Make groups from things you are photographing like above. I have group of two (herbs) and group of three (herbs, seeds, mushrooms). All together they are also odd numbers like seed pods are too.

I think this one is the hardest for me to explain. Because I don't think about it at all. It is somewhere deep in my brain. But it means "the pic is divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections." (Wikipedia) In pic above my bowl of dried sage is in one intersection like mushrooms too. The linen napkin's edge is also in right upper intersection.

Nothing to look at? Very important area. It shapes forms around the subject. It's as important as the subject. Without it there isn't a rythm or direction in the pic. Above pic there are negative spaces between the two group, inside the frame, between subjects.

You can build your pic with help of thinking of shapes like triangle, circle, square, cylinder, rectangles, polygon etc. For us it is easier to follow familiar shapes. When we are talking about leading the eye the work is done by lines and shapes. In Instagram photography it is better to trust more simple way of buliding pics so they are often very flat and have quite simple composition. You can also lead the eye with technical camera things like depth of field. But when you are photographing with smart phone that is hard to do, that's why it is important to have a good composition to keep the pic interesting.

After you know all these - you can forget them. See the pic below. Which rules I broke?

I hope you find this useful and interesting. I'm sure there are plenty of things still untold but I'm sure you will take a nice step ahead with your smart phone photography. These pics are all taken with iPhone and during this time of the year - we don't have so much light so that too makes this kind of photography more challenging.

I hope you have a great week ahead of you!


ps. These tips are useful in general when talking about photography.

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