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[Video] What is composition in photography? By Alain Mbouche



alain mbouche composition photography

Photography, against what we might think is a fairly young medium (barely 200 years), but thankfully thanks to the art of painting, which has been practiced for thousands of years, composition in images has been studied for a while, and we can stand on the shoulders of these giants to see how to bring interest to our images.


This is a painting of Vermeer, one of the greatest painter, from the Netherland. He’s the OG master of composition. We could surely dive into his work to take lessons from his ability to use compositions to make his painting more interesting.

Netherlands ArtSmart Vermeer Art of Painting via Wiki


If you step back, this curtain makes us feel like we’re catching a candid moment, there’s a sense of intimacy. But in reality, its all designed, thought out and composed. Look at the check pattern on the floor, for example, it’s actually made to lead your eye to the second plane. Just like in this one.

Vermeer The Concert


The girl reading the open letter makes great use of an “X” composition, also, look closer, did you notice that the girl reading is looking back at the viewer through her reflection in the window?
girl reading open letter vermeer

The most famous and commonly used composition technique is the rule of thirds, which states that you could divide your images into 3 sections vertically and horizontally and place your subject, or point of interest on these lines and intersection to create interest. Or use lines to connect these points.


But there are many technics at our disposal for the composition of an image.


composition painting





That’s great and all, but how do I apply that to my pictures” I hear you saying.

Well, we can’t go through all of them every single time we’re about to click the shutter, that would be overthinking it! But spending time to know them all could be a great addition to our skillset.


Article by Alain Mbouche

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