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FunTimes Magazine

Compositions for Mobile Photography

Sep 17, 2021 10:00AM ● By Anand Subramanian
two black women taking instagram photos of their meals in a stylish cafe with flowers painted on the walls

Figure 1 - Mobile Photography tips. Source - Pexel

What spectators perceive in the image is up to you as the photographer. Anyone with a smartphone can snap a photo, but it takes a competent photographer to design a composition that is aesthetically pleasing and retains the viewer's attention. It is just the arrangement of the main components or themes of a scene. Brands and audiences are also catching on, as these kinds of images continue to be significant in social media marketing and advertising. By practicing and using any of the composition strategies listed below, you will learn to direct your viewers to the emotions you wish to elicit and, eventually, match what you envisioned with what you shot.

Rule of Thirds

There is no better place to begin than with the most well-known composing approach of all time. The Rule of Thirds dictates that you split your image into nine equal-sized boxes by intersecting two horizontal and two vertical lines. Because the lines will cross at four places and the viewers' attention will naturally be pulled to those points, the Rule of Thirds states that you should put your subject or the most significant components of the scene along with one of the lines or on one of the points. Along intersections and lines, always place the horizon, trees, and other emphasis areas such as the eyes and lips. Most phones have a grid to help you compose your pictures in this manner.

Figure 2 - An Example of Rule of Thirds. Source - Photographed by Anand Subramanian

Frame within the Frame

This compositional approach, also known as sub-framing, is using or adding frame components to focus and guide the viewer's eye towards your topic or to simply add interest to your image. They may attract the attention directly to your topic, obscure undesirable things behind it, give an image depth, and assist establish context. Natural frames, such as rock formations, or man-made frames, such as windows and tunnels, can also be used. Whatever shape or form it takes, as long as it helps draw attention to your desired topic, it will result in a more visually attractive photograph.

Figure 3 - An Example of Frame within the Frame- Source - Photographed by Anand Subramanian

Fill the Frame

Move closer to your topic with this approach to improve your composition. This permits the attention to be drawn to your subject. As an added benefit, it will assist you in removing distracting components from the backdrop and may even provide you with intriguing abstract patterns. The image is balanced thanks to the diagonal arrangement. Cropping during post-processing may also be used to make your photo appear more like a close-up, but bear in mind that you risk drastically decreasing the resolution of your image.

Figure 4 - An Example of Fill the Frame- Source - Photographed by Anand Subramanian

Leading Lines

Leading lines are some of the most effective, yet underutilized, photographic techniques. The photographer can utilize them to attract the viewer's attention to a certain section of the image by creating a vanishing point in the frame's backdrop or foreground. Streaks that are vertical, parallel, or diagonal provide a solid basis for viewing. Leading lines are excellent for adding depth to an image and may make it appear carefully created. Remember where you want the viewer's sight to travel when experimenting with this composition method, and keep re-composing the frame until the lines go there.

Figure 5 - An Example of Leading Lines- Source - Photographed by Anand Subramanian

Different Perspectives

Taking photographs from an odd or unusual perspective may make them more memorable because it creates a sense of depth or height with the subjects. It also draws attention to the image, as most smartphone images are taken either straight on or from a bird's eye view. Shoot from an odd location to add intrigue. Consider unusual perspective positions and take audiences on a one-of-a-kind adventure.

Figure 6 - An Example of Different Perspectives- Source - Photographed by Anand Subramanian 

Break Free

Photography is an art form, not a scientific discipline. There are no hard and fast laws governing what you may and may not do. The composition principles listed above are simply that: recommendations. While they are frequently highly beneficial in a wide range of photographic circumstances, you should not allow them to limit your creativity. Ignore these and explore if they don't work in your scene. However, to transgress the rules, you must first learn them. So, learn the composition methods discussed above, practice them in your photography until they become second nature, then break the rules and see what occurs.

Figure 7 - An Example of Experimenting and Breaking Rules- Source - Photographed by Anand Subramanian

 Anand Subramanian is a freelance photographer and content writer based out of Tamil Nadu, India. Having a background in Engineering always made him curious about life on the other side of the spectrum. He leapt forward towards the Photography life and never looked back. Specializing in Documentary and  Portrait photography gave him an up-close and personal view into the complexities of human beings and those experiences helped him branch out from visual to words. Today he is mentoring passionate photographers and writing about the different dimensions of the art world.

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