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Composition – The Essence of Good Photography!


Photo by Muhammed Sajjad

This photograph by AP photographer Muhammed Sajjad, published in the Washington Post shows displaced people transporting their belongings from their home as they fled a flooded area near Peshawar Pakistan, where the death toll has passed 1,000 since flash-flooding began in mid-June.

 We want to show it to you because it is a beautifully composed photo, incorporating many of the traditional elements of composition.

 First, notice the framing of the whole scene by the latticed doorway and the people.

 Next, notice how the people on our left are looking towards the right, into the center, and how the people on our right are looking towards the left, into the center.

 Third, notice how the boat carrying people breaks up the monotony of the water. Without the boat, the picture would not be as interesting.

 Fourth, notice how we are drawn to the whites of the eyes of the little boy, looking fearfully to our left.

 Fifth, notice how the woman’s arm on our left is pointed towards the boat, a leading line that directs our attention to the boat and which helps to frame the scene.

 Sixth, notice how the people in the lower part of the picture provide a foreground element, giving depth and a stereo quality to the photo.

 Seventh, notice how the photo follows the rule of thirds, with the people in the bottom third, the boat in the middle third, and the distant shore and the door frame in the top third.

 Do you like what you see? You can read more about the elements of composition in the article below. 

 We believe that good composition can be done with ANY camera or phone. These are principles we teach in all our photo safaris’. Check our website for current dates for our Composition Safaris!

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