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The 10 Basic Rules Of Image Composition

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Date Added: 23rd November 2010
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There are 10 main composition rules to bear in mind when it comes to creating an image. Following these rules can help to make your image more successful and visually appealing.

Please note that the works shown in this article are not mine, but have all been used with permission of the artists that created them.

1. Contrast

How you can attract the viewer to your picture? You need to have contrast in your scene. The light object should be on dark background and vice versa (Fig.01).

Fig.01 - © ms_Dessi

2. Layout

The key objects should not be placed chaotically. It is better that they form the shape of a simple geometric figure (Fig.02).

Fig.02 - © Morro

3. Balance

The objects located in opposite sides of frame should correspond to each other in terms of volume, size and color parameters.

4. The Golden Ratio

The golden ratio was known even in ancient Egypt. Its properties were studied by Leonardo and Euclid. The simple definition is that the best point to place the object is one third from the horizontal or vertical border of frame. The location of key objects at these points seems natural and attracts the eye (Fig.03).

Fig. 03

5. Diagonals

One of the most effective compositions is the diagonal composition. The essence is simple -locate the key objects on a diagonal within the frame. For example, from the upper left corner to the lower right. This ruse is good because it guides the viewer's eyes through the picture (Fig.04 - 05).

Fig.04 - © Feodor Ivaneev

Fig.05 - © Feodor Ivaneev

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Robert Morgan on Mon, 31 December 2012 7:52am
Hello, I'm looking for someone to do some freelance texture mapping of room settings incl. curtains. Can you help?
Munkybutt's Avatar
JoeLaFrite007 (Forums) on Mon, 07 February 2011 6:45am
Very interesting !Thanks a lot for these tips ;)
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Grievera (Forums) on Mon, 07 February 2011 1:57am
great tips :Dthanks :D
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Maksimka1980 (Forums) on Sun, 06 February 2011 7:49am
Thnx my friends :)
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Nilla (Forums) on Thu, 09 December 2010 5:30pm
Some really good tips in there. Thanks for sharing.
Gaurav Gupta on Mon, 06 December 2010 4:05am
Thanks........ Very nice tutorial & very useful also.
Wayne on Mon, 06 December 2010 2:47am
the last tip is same with the 5th, but still thanks a lot:)
Cnu on Sun, 05 December 2010 7:08am
Thank you very much for those great tips.
Pablo on Fri, 03 December 2010 4:00pm
Very useful, thank you very much ;)
Ms_Dessi on Fri, 03 December 2010 9:06am
Excellent and useful lesson, and very pleasant to see the my work here, thanks!
Munkybutt's Avatar
Nupsi (Forums) on Fri, 03 December 2010 9:03am
Great article. Thanks for sharing!
Munkybutt's Avatar
Maksimka1980 (Forums) on Fri, 03 December 2010 6:52am
thnx :)
Simon Williams on Wed, 01 December 2010 4:21pm
Great perspective on the train, want the car ....
Rasoul Valli on Wed, 01 December 2010 4:00pm
thanks alot. i read the article and it was so useful for me. thank alot.
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