Composition of Photography and Its Relationship with Fine Art

••Basic Composition Rules••

Composition rules are the basic rules for starting, then avoid the common mistakes that usually occur when drawing up a layout of images. This rule has been proven and tested from time to time is always present and applied to the work of the old masters. In addition to painting, these rules also appear in the composition of photography. One example of the technical rule is to place the position of the interesting parts of the image near the meeting of horizontal and vertical lines that divide the image into three parts (rule of thirds). Rule of thirds is a simplification of golden ratio, which is an algorithm / formula / natural mathematical formula that gives beauty and balance to various natural objects; flowers, butterfly patterns, shells, etc. Explanation of these techniques will be discussed further below.

••Composition function••

Starting photos or sketches of design / art with basic composition rules will make it easier for us to get an ideal blueprint for the work that we are working on to later develop, it could be a way to rebel from the basic rules. The application of the rules of composition rules in spontaneous shooting will provide a choice of diverse photo results without giving too heavy a hindrance.

••Composition engineering techniques••

The following are some composition techniques that are commonly described in photographic compositions.

••Rule of Thirds / Rule of a Third Field••

Divide the portion of the subject of the image into three parts, both horizontally and vertically, so that balance will be achieved between the elements we arrange in one frame, for example: 30% sky, 30% sea, 30% sand horizontally. If you find an interesting subject on a vertical line: a coconut tree, try positioning it in one third of the three vertical lines drawn.

••Rule of Odds••

Something odd in number will usually look more attractive and dynamic. The rule of third also uses odd numbers to divide the proportion of works in general. Even numbers look more unattractive for natural subjects because they give a symmetrical impression. While incongruity will give a more natural impression because of its asymmetry. Naturality becomes very important in visual media which is actually already unnatural, because visual art is only a fiction of nature, a social reflection or a fruit of its own thinking.

Ofrule of odds / rules of incongruity, composition of photography and art

Line (virtual) in Photography / Fine Art Composition

Applying line elements to the composition can provide various advantages to the work we are working on. In general, all types of lines can be applied, the atmosphere / feeling generated by the line is still the same as the explanation of the lines on elements of fine art.

LinesCharacteristically Horizontal StraightQueen, PositiveL Vertical StraightStrong, rigid, firmCurveFlexible, harmonious, feminineDiamondDynamic, energetic, Tense

••Straight / Horizontal••

Giving a calm impression, will be a good transition if applied correctly. The use of horizontal lines generally occurs in compositions that apply the rule of thirds or golden ratio.

••Straight / Vertical••

Sturdy, balanced and will eliminate other unnecessary disturbances from the point of interest.


The application of diagonal lines will give the impression of a fast, dynamic movement. The use of diagonal lines attracts attention more than horizontally, because it is not suitable to produce a calm atmosphere. Diagonal lines will also direct the viewer's eyes quickly to the main subject (main emphasis, focus point, emphasis). In the composition of photography, diagonal lines can give the impression of the depth of the field so that the photo looks more dimensional.


Using curved lines will further provoke the work to look richer and rhythmic. Curved lines provide more flowing eye direction than diagonal, making it more suitable for works that have more supportive details of the point of interest.

••Framing / framing••

Framing is a technique to draw attention to the subject by utilizing other parts / elements of the composition as a frame (virtual) in the main approach (POI, emphasis) of the work.

Ramframing / framing in the composition of photography and art

Sometimes maybe arranging the composition of photography or artwork might feel too complicated and bound to creativity. This is natural, because theory does not always have to be applied when practicing, there are no absolute rules in composing works of art. In the end, the rules of composition technique might be abandoned by an experienced artist. Some people also might have gotten a natural instinct to compile aesthetic composition. But understanding and knowing these rules will enrich our thinking in the era of art that has surpassed this aesthetic virtue.

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