Composition in Photography – Part 2

This post is a continuation of my earlier post on Composition in photography for beginners. I split it into two to avoid a lengthy post. You may want to checkout the earlier post if you have not seen it.We looked at eight composition rules in the first post with examples.  There are many more such composition rules which I compiled from various sources.Let us continue with the remaining ones:

Balancing Elements:

This rule is sometimes observed when you follow the rule of thirds ( explained in the previous post).  The photo with rule of thirds leaves some void space  and this can create some emptiness .This emptiness can be balanced by placing a subject of lesser importance to balance the effect .The following example shots shows the effect.Notice how there are two people in the picture below who are the main subjects and the parachute on the far left is the balancing element .Similarly the pictures of the lighthouse and the clouds , the two pillars of the bridge near and far ,  the lady and the house in the background have balancing elements in the composition which gives a nice appeal.

Balancing elements in composition

Balancing elements in Composition shots

Selective View:

In this rule, the selected portions of the subject are completely in focus and occupies the entire frame.

Selective Focus:

This is a very popular composition rule and looks elegant where in, the subject in focus is highlighted and sharp and the rest of the background is blurred.

Empty Space:

In this composition rule , empty space is added on purpose to the right or left of the subject.


As the name suggests , the photograph is composed where the subject has a beautiful symmetrical appearance .

Composition rules

Composition rules

Triangles and Diagonals:

Triangles and diagonals in a picture make a great composition. The following pictures are great examples

Triangles and Diagonals in composition

Triangles and Diagonals in composition

Filing frame:

The entire frame is filled with the subject  to give an elegance and this is kind of similar to selective view rule.

Filling Frame Composition

Golden Triangle

This is a very interesting composition rule .Envision your frame by drawing a diagonal line across. Then from the empty corners draw a perpendicular line to the diagonal .You end up with four triangles.The idea is to compose your photograph in all of the four triangles. It need not be filled up,  just as in rule of thirds composition.I found a very useful link on the golden triangle with example pictures.

If you are interested to learn more, do check out

Golden Ratio:

I recently got to know about this composition rule and it may be  a little advanced for beginners, but interesting. It has a little Mathematics to it. You must have learnt that two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities. It is a ratio of approximately 1.618 to 1. This proportion is said to create a sense of harmony and balance in composition of a picture.  If you look at the outermost rectangle in the below picture, is first divided vertically into two in the ratio 1:1.6 .The smaller of the two is again divided in the ratio 1:1.6 and this repeats till you get the smallest inner square .A spiral can be traced from within by joining the opposite sides of each of the squares as shown in the picture below. This as you see also follows the Fibonacci series of numbers 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55, ..,.. .Fibonacci series is a series of numbers wherein you get the next number by adding the consecutive numbers ( you start with 0 ,1) .Dividing the series of numbers next to each other for eg. 13/8 gives a value close to 1.618.In nature we see many examples of Fibonacci series in flower petals, shells, pine cones etc.

Composition using Golden Spiral

Golden Spiral (Ratio) Free image:

How is this used in photography ? To put it simply, the above spiral should be visualized on the picture you compose .The inner most loop of circle being the main subject of interest and the viewer’s eyes should go around the spiral following the subject of interest. This is especially very often used by photographers in landscape photography.It can also be used in other kinds of photography as well and makes a photograph with great composition

There are many interesting , detailed and in depth links on the internet which explains the golden ratio . I especially found this link very useful: . You may want to check it out for more details.

To take the composition of your photograph to the next level, golden ratio is indeed a great technique . This of course will take time to follow and master especially for beginners, but one can improvise and learn this skill with practice.

If you have any other interesting composition rules that you follow, do share your thoughts in the comments .


Photo credits: and pixabay

Disclaimer: I am not a photography tutor or professional .This is only an effort to share the lessons and tips I learnt and compile my experiences using the digital camera .

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  • Reply
    June 14, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    I was not aware of most of these compositions. Thanks so much !

    • Reply
      June 14, 2018 at 4:15 pm

      You are very welcome Megala! Glad to share these rules.Thank you for stopping by and the comments!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Super informative post! Thanks for sharing this with us! ❤

    • Reply
      June 14, 2018 at 4:16 pm

      Thank you so much Richa, glad you find it useful, happy to share!

  • Reply
    Invisibly Me
    June 14, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    The Golden Rule went straight over my head! Hahah. Interesting to read about balancing elements though – very useful to keep in mind. Brilliant guide! x

    • Reply
      June 14, 2018 at 4:21 pm

      I know what you mean ,it took me also a couple of readings to get it. The two links I posted under golden triangle/ ratio has some excellent pictures which will give a better idea. Thank you for stopping by and appreciate the comments , happy that you find it useful 🙂

  • Reply
    June 14, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Such an informative post Nisha ! Thanks so much for sharing 😍

    • Reply
      June 15, 2018 at 2:49 am

      Thank you so much Smitha, I’m so glad this post is useful !

  • Reply
    June 14, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Awesome info Nisha… Nice share💯

    • Reply
      June 15, 2018 at 2:50 am

      Thank you so much Jyo, much appreciated!

  • Reply
    Ali The Mindful Gardener
    June 15, 2018 at 4:13 am

    Lots to think about. I love the Fibonacci swirl.

    • Reply
      June 17, 2018 at 8:45 pm

      Great to hear that! Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    June 16, 2018 at 3:47 am

    Great post Nisha! It’s good guide for begginers like me. 👌💯

    • Reply
      June 17, 2018 at 8:47 pm

      Wonderful to hear that, Thank you very much!

  • Reply
    June 28, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Beautifully done, and so helpful! Thank you for sharing. Xx

    • Reply
      June 28, 2018 at 2:19 pm

      Thank you very much, happy to hear it is useful!

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