The Golden Spiral: Step Your Photography Composition Game

Careful composition for a cognac ad using the Golden Spiral

When it comes to photography composition, the Golden Spiral is an aesthetically pleasing but often overlooked alternative to the commonly used Rule of Thirds.

When it comes to photography composition, the “Rule of Thirds” is the first rule to come to mind for most photographers. It’s a tried and true method that guarantees visually pleasing results. However, it’s not the be-all end-all when it comes to composition rules. To quote Yoda from The Empire Strikes Back, “There is another.” In our latest infographic, we will be covering one such alternative: the Golden Spiral. Sometimes referred to as the Golden Ratio or the Golden Proportion, it’s another effective compositional tool that can help create truly engaging images. It even went by the “Divine Proportion” moniker during the Renaissance. Let’s check it out.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: Composition Formats for Landscape Photography

Improve your composition for landscape photography with some tips on format and orientation from today’s photography cheat sheet.

When you’re shooting landscape photography, it can be challenging to decide whether a scene looks better in horizontal or vertical orientation. You may also think about shooting in Instagram-ready square format, or go for a broader capture with panoramic format. If you need some help deciding, the tips from today’s featured photography cheat sheet should be able to give you some ideas.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: Composition Tips for Architectural Photography

If you’re just getting into architectural photography, composition is one of the first things to work on. We have just the photography cheat sheet to help with that!

As many of the projects we’ve previously featured show, exceptional architectural photography involves more than just pointing a camera to buildings and architectural elements. Composition is key, as is the case with great photography in general. If you think you need some help with composition for architectural photography, today’s photography cheat sheet will help you come to grips through some simple tips.

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5 Tips to Improve Your Landscape Photography Composition Today

If you think your landscape photography can use some improvement, we bring five tips to help you achieve stronger compositions.

The most effective landscape photographs are the ones with the strongest composition. There’s more to it than simply standing before a postcard-perfect scene and pressing the shutter button. If you’re getting into shooting landscapes and want to improve your composition, we have five useful tips you can study and try out for your next practice.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: Mastering the Essential Composition Elements

Great composition is key to any kind of photography, so today, we bring another photography cheat sheet to help you master it.

A well-exposed photo is never enough; it should also show great composition. Of course, no one is a master of composition straight away. It takes years of learning, practice, and constant improvement. If you’re bored with your photos, chances are you need to work on composition. Today’s featured photography cheat sheet from Digital Camera World will provide some helpful tips for working with the essential ingredients of eye-catching composition.

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Five Easy Composition Tips for Stunning Black and White Photography

Practice makes perfect, especially for black and white photography. Here are some quick tips to improve your composition today!

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: black and white photography isn’t as simple as using your camera’s monochrome mode. If only it were that easy! Because black and white photography has the inherent ability to make compositions stand out, working on your composition is one of the first few things you need to get started with. In today’s featured video tutorial, PHLEARN Founder Aaron Nace shares five quick composition tips to get better monochrome snaps.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: Basic Photography Composition Tips

If anyone has come to you for advice on how to take better photos, here’s a quick photography cheat sheet you can share with them. 

We have to start somewhere when learning a new skill or hobby, and photography is no different. Whether it’s shooting with a new camera or taking better photos with a smartphone, there are some essential basic photography rules you would need to practice. Today’s featured photography cheat sheet will help you master four composition techniques and start creating visual masterpieces.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: Mastering Composition for Landscapes

Before you set your exposure for a landscape photo, make sure your composition is on point. Use this photography cheat sheet as your guide to master working landscape scenes. 

Getting the exposure right is only half of the job when it comes to landscape photography; it’s just as important to have eye-catching composition. These two elements work together to make an outstanding landscape photo that goes beyond the snapshot. Today’s photography cheat sheet is a great resource both for those who are new to shooting landscapes and those who want to keep improving their composition.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: 19 Composition Tips You Should Know

Whether you’ve just started to take photography more seriously or farther along into it, the composition tips in this photography cheat sheet are worth checking out.

Composition is key for taking outstanding photographs. It’s one of the first things a person who enjoys taking photographs learns. A photo can be technically sound — well-exposed, properly focused, and tack-sharp — but if it’s poorly composed, it won’t be a great photo. Today’s photography cheat sheet has some excellent tips that will improve your composition and create stronger photos in the process.

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Marina Weishaupt’s Swiss Mountain Photos Are a Compositional Dream

All images by Marina Weishaupt. Used with Creative Commons permission.

If the mountains bring you peace and creative motivation, you’ll find a kindred spirit in German photographer Marina Weishaupt and her breathtaking mountain snaps. Today, we place the spotlight on her surreal set Winter in August, featuring the snowy peaks of the Piz Feiss in eastern Switzerland. Weishaupt, a self-taught photographer based in Ulm in Southern Germany, has found her passion in nature, animals, and the environment, with a keen interest for rough landscapes. It comes as no surprise then that she now focuses on capturing mountainous locations with rough structures and unique shapes, and is constantly looking for new places off the beaten path. Sure enough, Piz Feiss isn’t the first to come to mind when we speak of Swiss peaks (that distinction belonging to the Swiss Alps), yet its stunning beauty and dramatic vistas are also worth the adoration.

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How to use Positive and Negative Space to Improve Photo Composition

Photo composition and the balance between positive and negative space in your images can alter the tone of the story you’re trying to tell quite dramatically.

Photo composition is one of the very first things what all budding photographers need to get a firm understanding of. You can learn how to shoot in manual mode, but if you never develop the ability to compose a shot, learn about the rule of thirds and other composition skills you’re not going to get far. After a break we have a video that explores the difference between positive and negative space, and why both are so vitally important when it comes to photography and story telling.

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Canon’s Patent Application Suggests AI-Powered Camera Control System Could Take Over Photographers’ Composition

Could Canon be planning to make the camera do all the work for photographers with an AI-powered system?

AI-powered everything seems to be the hot stuff that gets anything tech-related going these days, especially photography. We’ve come to an age where AI can tell you if your photos will make you Insta-famous or colorize your old black and white photos. Canon seems to be pushing the boundaries of photography with a patent application that involves research into an AI-powered camera control system.

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Landscape Fundamentals: 10 Tips for Better Landscape Composition

Stop pulling your hair out wondering why your landscape photos aren’t turning out and try these tips!

Landscape photography is one of the easier photography niches to get into, while simultaneously being one of the harder disciplines to really master and be known for. But assuming your goal is simply to take better landscape photography, there are some things you should have in mind while you are out in nature looking to capture the beauty of the world around you.

This YouTube video from Shubert Photography offers a quick look at 10 tips for basic landscape photography composition. These are not earth-shattering, nor are they going to help you stand out, but they will give you some solid, basic tips on things to consider when you are composing your images to maximize the opportunities around you and increase the potential to capture an image that catches the attention of your fans. Continue reading…

Shooting Cityscapes at Night, From Composition to Lightroom

Feature image screen capture from video, all credit to Serge Ramilli.

Shooting cityscapes at night can be a great hobby for photographers and civilians alike: the city never moves, it’s always available to shoot, and you can do it at your leisure. During day or night most can take some breathtaking images that will capture the attention of your viewers. But if you are new to this, the idea of shooting at night may give you pause… so, let’s remedy that.

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The Rule of Tenths is the Photographic Compositional Rule of Thirds on Hard Mode

You’ve obviously heard of the rule of thirds when it comes to composition, but have you heard of the rule of tenths? It’s basically a much more complicated rule of composition. Where the rule of thirds breaks images down into thirds diagonally and horizontally, the rule of tenths goes even further. You go both up and down when breaking your images into ten sections. Essentially, you’re breaking your images into 100 equal parts and composing your images based on those rules. They make a whole lot of sense for things like landscape and architecture, but can become more complicated when working with portraits, street photography etc.

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Screw the Rule of Thirds: “Composition” For Street Photographers

This is a syndicated blog post from La Noir Image. Subscribe for as little as $15/year for this and much more.

All images and post by Mason Resnick

“I’VE SEEN THIS PICTURE BEFORE.”

It may be cliché to say that rules are made to be broken, but it can be argued that the genre of street photography is the photographic discipline where breaking the rules will most likely allow you to see—and capture—more interesting photographs.

Traditional compositional rules come out of pre-photographic art forms. Leading lines, the rule of thirds, centered subjects and so on were developed over centuries by painters and others using two-dimensional forms in order to organize the content of their images and create a common visual language.

Visual artists—painters, photographers, cinematographers and the like—are taught these rules and mostly conform to them.

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Concepts and Better Composition Composing of Landscape Photography

Landscape photography, like any other genre, has its many-what I will call-“unofficial rules”.

There are rules about how to expose a scene using methods such as the zone method developed by Ansel Adams, exposing to the right to get as much detail as you can from the shadows, or even bracketing multiple exposures and creating HDR (High Dynamic Range) images. And then there are rules for composition. The most famous of which-and one you probably learned of first-the Rule of Thirds.

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Creating Better Compositions: Landscape Lessons from Minor White (Premium)

Minor White would delight in the fact that I’m using his photographs as a lesson for creating compelling landscape compositions. He dedicated much of his life to teaching photography and its principles to students of the medium at a variety of institutions throughout his career, which began in the 1930s and lasted until his death in 1976.

He was fortunate to have met such photography greats as Edward Weston and Alfred Stieglitz, who was the photography curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York at the time, and spent a lot of time thinking and writing about how to best communicate through pictures. He co-founded the prolific photography magazine Aperture and was its editor for many years. His ideas about image sequences are still some of the foundational principles of fine art photography as taught and practiced, and Minor White is widely regarded as one of the most influential in the history of American photography. He was purely a teacher at heart.

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