5 Elements of Composition Photography

5 Elements of Composition in Photography

“Not every DSLR-slinging person is a photographer. There is more to photography than just having the best camera in town.”

– thegreymatter

Taking an epic shot requires excellent composition. Brilliant photographers don’t depend on luck. Those you find on malls with those heavy DSLRs are not photographers. Those are posers and I suggest you avoid them at all cost.

Real photographers involve both the science and the arts in crafting a good picture. There can never be a set of “rules” to a great photograph, only ingredients. And as such, not every ingredient have to be used to cook up a good dish.


There is nothing more eye-catching than patterns. These are languages spread all over a given matrix (e.g. surroundings, sceneries, etc). Capturing and creating patterns takes a lot of discipline and patience. For capturing – a lot of luck, for creating – a lot of imagination. Capturing patterns may include, lighting patterns, symmetric patterns or rhythmic (repetition) patterns.

Read more on using repetition and patterns in photography.


There will be instances when it is a good thing to focus on symmetry, and there will be times that you should totally avoid it.

Depending upon the scene – symmetry can be something to go for – or to avoid completely.

A symmetrical shot with distinct focus and a good subject can lead to a great image – but without the distinction it can be a little predictable. I prefer to experiment with both in the one shoot to see which works best.

Read more on symmetry in photography.


You may have encountered Texture as one of the fundamental elements of art. It is no more true here in photography. Unimpressionistic “photographers” either have it on special photo paper or are is by-product of madskillz in photoshop. But a clean, glossy picture is mundane and uninteresting.

Images should pop out of our magazines and laptop/tablet screens. The pictures we take should come out alive, not like images from an advertisement, neat and clean. Texture comes handy in making our shots alive and immersive. To achieve lively textures, good lighting is required. Natural light and equipped light works best here.

Read more on using light to create texture in your photography.

Depth of field (DOF)

Tilt-shift and manual focus are some of the features, newer digital cameras and smartphone cameras provide. It allows for a more human look. Subtle and flawed. Avoid having your images flat and dull.

Having depth (of field) isolates your subject/focus from the background and foreground. It indicates emphasis and dimension.

Read more on getting shallow depth of field and also this video tutorial on depth of field.


Another element of art that is equally powerful in taking those mind-blowing pictures.

A line directs our eyes to those key focal points in our image. This can be done either by a zooming effect, blurred lines or physical lines already present in our frame.

These are high-impact line compositions which is a must in framing:

All elements enumerated has a high presence value on thegreymatter and saiailand‘s work. Find them at EyeEm

Download PPT file here.