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4 Most Common Composition Mistakes in Photography

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4 Most Common Composition Mistakes in Photography

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Four of the Most Common Composition Mistakes In Photography

I’ve seen photographers make lots of mistakes when it comes to composition. That’s not a criticism – we all get things wrong from time to time. But recognizing mistakes and putting them right is a key part of improving your composition skills. In that spirit then, here are the most common composition mistakes and errors that I’ve seen photographers make.

Mistake #1: Learning the rule of thirds – and nothing else

The rule of thirds is basic composition theory and it’s important to understand it. But the mistake some photographers make is never trying to learn anything else about composition.

 

Mistake #2: Not including foreground interest

This is a common mistake in landscape photography and some documentary photography. That’s because photographers in these genres often use wide-angle lenses, which usually include lots of foreground detail in the composition.

The idea of foreground interest can be a hard concept to grasp at first but it makes sense when you start to think about it.

 

Mistake #3: Not paying enough attention to the background

Sharp backgrounds are common in documentary styles of photography and can help tell a story about the main subject.

Mistake #4: Not working the subject

The final common composition mistake I see photographers make is failing to work the subject. This means that you take as many photos as you can until you’ve exhausted all the creative possibilities. Sometimes you only need to take three or four photos for this to happen. At other times you may take 20 or 30. Either way, the idea is to explore different viewpoints and compositional possibilities.

The reason this works is that the first point of view you use is not necessarily the best one. If you have the opportunity, it’s a good idea to try different points of view, different focal lengths, and maybe even different aperture and shutter speed settings.

Perhaps you need to pay more attention to the background. Maybe you need to include some interesting foreground detail. Perhaps the photo would benefit from including some negative space or using a slower shutter speed to blur parts of it. The answers depend on the subject and how much time you have to explore it.

Please add your thoughts about the common mistakes in comment section!

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