Improve Your Photographic Composition with Art and Design Elements

PF 060: Improve Your Photographic Composition with Art and Design Elements

Improve Your Photographic Composition Using Fundamental Elements

Thank you for listening to The Photo Flunky Show. In episode 60, we talk about how you use composition to tell a story by arranging art and design elements.

Instead of talking about things like “Rule of Thirds” and “Leading Lines“, we have a different approach. We use simple questions like Why, What and How.

The answer to “Why” you need a composition is pretty simple. You're trying to communicate, to tell a story, that fits in a given format. Part of your answer to “Why” includes the format you need your photo to fill when you're done. That could be specific dimensions for artwork on your wall, social media, print publication, or another use.

We think of the art elements as tools that are at your disposal. These elements answer the “What” part of your composition. As in, what are you going to put inside your frame? Here are a few examples.

  • Color
  • Shape
  • Line
  • Texture
  • Space

We think of the design elements as styles or techniques that you can use. The design elements describe “How” you're going to arrange those art elements in your frame. Here are a few examples.

  • Balance
  • Contrast
  • Movement
  • Pattern
  • Emphasis

These are just a few examples you can use in Art and Design. Some of them may be different than you've heard before. For example, we didn't list light as one of the elements, but we mention how you can use it to provide contrast.

Be sure to listen to the full episode to find out how to improve your photographic composition.

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