Take Your Composition to the Next Level with These 3 Advanced Composition Techniques

By JasenkaG / January 23, 2019

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If you’ve already learned the basic composition techniques such as the rule of thirds and proper use of color and contrast, it’s time for you to move on and acquire new skills when it comes to composition.

This blog post is brought to you by Advanced Composition – a guide worth looking at if you are looking to go beyond rudimentary composition techniques. Take a look here.

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While there are many ways to achieve better and truly eye-catching photos, what will turn your ordinary snapshot into a compelling artwork is most probably the striking composition.

The following three advanced composition techniques will help you add more visual appeal to your photography:

1. Foreground interest and depth

If your photos look a little too flat, placing something in the foreground can instantly make them more interesting.

Including some foreground interest is a perfect way of adding a sense of depth to the scene. Since photographs are 2D by nature, experimenting with foreground interest will allow you to give the scene a more 3D feel.

The foreground of your image should contain some key point of interest, such as a person, a tree, some rocks or anything else that is related to your genre of photography or your subject. Composing your image in this way will help you evoke depth and create an illusion of that missing third dimension.

adding foreground interest, advanced composition technique

Photo by Levi Bare on Unsplash

2. Frame within the frame

Another great way of showing depth in a scene is including a ‘frame within the frame’. This technique is often used in other visual arts too, such as painting and drawing, because it is invariably effective! You should train your eyes to look for elements such as windows, arches, branches or stones to frame the scene with. This kind of ‘frame’ doesn’t have to surround the entire scene to be effective – you can also experiment with incomplete framing and add a sense of mystery to your photos.

There are many ways to create a frame within a frame, since these frames can be both man-made and natural objects. Using a frame within a frame can look amazing in portraiture, landscapes and even some other genres such as documentary and product photography.

frame within a frame, advanced composition technique

Photo by Alex Hiller on Unsplash

3. Rule of odds

The rule of odds in photography suggests that an image is more visually appealing if there is an odd number of elements. According to the visual arts theory, an odd number of elements is more natural and easier on the eye. On the other hand, an even number of elements is considered distracting as the viewer is not sure which one to focus on.

Three is usually the best option among the odd numbers . If you have three elements, you can place them in a line or make a triangle shape, which will add a sense of visual tension and make your image more dynamic.

Five and seven are still good numbers to compose with but you should keep in mind that adding more elements means losing part of the compositional strength.

rule of odds, advanced composition technique

Photo by Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash

In addition to these three, there are many other advanced composition techniques that you can use to drastically improve your photos. If you’d like to learn more about them, check out the following links:

Further Resources:

  1. How To Create Amazing Compositions Simply By Using Color
  2. 5 Free Guides on Five Composition Tools to Help You Compose Better Photos
  3. 5 Ways To Break The Rules Of Composition
  4. The Head Vs. The Heart: Why Composition Matters And By How Much

What Next?

This blog post is brought to you by Advanced Composition – a guide worth looking at if you are looking to go beyond rudimentary composition techniques. Take a look here.


About the author


Jasenka is our web designer and one of our content writers. She has 10 years of experience when it comes to writing and 5 years of experience in graphic and web design. She was one of the designers at Qode Interactive who worked on developing Bridge WordPress theme, a best-seller at ThemeForest. At the moment, she develops new products for Light Stalking and takes care of everything related to design. In addition to that, Jasenka is a freelance photographer who’s dedicated to portraiture and event photography. She attended Hudson Valley college in Albany, NY where she got her degree in digital media and participated in local exhibitions with her photography and digital artworks. She also worked at Albany Center Gallery as an event photographer. She is currently based in Belgrade, Serbia.


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