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Basic Rules of Composition in Photography

At first we have to understand that what composition is in general terms. Composition is not applied only in photography but it applies to every kind of art whether it is dance, literature, music and so on. Without proper composition an individual is unable to give proper results in photography, visual art, dance and so on. So composition explains the positioning or arranging the elements in any type of work of art.
Now we are going to discuss what is composition in photography? Composing means “arranging different types of elements available in a particular frame of reference that attracts a viewer eye”. Without a proper composition interesting objects can be spoiled. With a proper composition an uninteresting subject’s can attracts the audience. So we can understand that what role the composition plays in a photography.

The aperture, angle and focal length also affect the composition. + we also have some elements of composition like colors, shadows, shapes and etc. An example of flood photography, where an individual who is a photographer he wants to show the audience that how flood destroys everything. So it depends on the circumstances or cases or subjects that which type of composition a photographer should implement in a photograph.



Patterns in plant Leaf

Pattern exist in our environment the only thing is to see them through our inner eyes. It exists in an artificial and natural form. If we understand the pattern we can found it everywhere i.e. in a market, monument and etc. lighting is also important in pattern. If we take the example of fields during overcast day, the audience lacks interest in that picture.


L.C. Nøttaasen L.C.Nøttaasen

The second component is texture. When the light strikes on the subject at different angles then the texture helps in making proper composition.

Symmetry-sample-imageRichard Taylor dicktay2000

Symmetry is a line which creates a balance in a photograph. If we divide the subject in a half in a proper way then it is known as the image is symmetrical. Generally we are using two types of symmetry in photography i.e. vertical line symmetry and horizontal line symmetry.
Line is also one of the elements of composition in photography. There are different types of lines like horizontal, vertical, diagonal and converging lines present in the most of the composition that we capture and if used properly it will create impact in the audience eyes.



DOF – Focus on the subject you want to show it the viewers

Depth of field (DOF) used to stand out the subject from the environment, lower aperture such as f /1.2 or f/1.8 helps you to focus on the subject and create a beautiful bokeh( background blur) in the image.

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Looney 11 and Sunny 16 Rules


Looney 11 rules

Looney 11 rule is called as Looney f/11 rule. This rule helps us to capture proper amount of light to the sensor and result is perfectly balanced image (not too over exposed or under exposed ). There are different types of lighting conditions like during full moon we can use aperture f/11 similarly in case of half moon we are using the aperture f/8. So we are using different aperture in different lighting condition to get a perfect shot. Take a look at the table below and try to remember it when you capture your next Moon image.

Looney 11 rules


Sunny 16 rules

There is another type of rule we are using which is known as sunny 16 rules or sunny f/16 rule and is used in photography during daylight. This Rule helps us to get properly exposed image without any trouble. There are different types of lighting condition available during day time like snow or sand and we have to set our aperture based on that type of scene. In snow and sand we should use the aperture value f/22, similarly in sunny location the aperture should be at f/16. When we set the aperture the shutter speed should also changed according to rule, for example when the aperture is f/22 then the shutter speed should be kept at 1/50 second similarly when the aperture is f/16, the shutter speed is 1/100 second and so on. Take a look at the tables below for better understanding…

ISO should be kept as same as shutter speed to get properly exposed images, * for first setting if ISO 50, for 2nd – F16, 1/100 and ISO 100, F11, 1/200 and ISO 200 and so on…

Sunny-16-rules-image-1Take a look at the table below and you can use as cheat sheet for getting perfect shot at different lighting condition,

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Rule of Thirds

rule-of-thirds-imageThis theory was given by John Thomas Smith in 1797.It is one of the basic principles of photographic composition. It applies to film, art, photography and design. The basic principle is to break down the image space into nine equal parts in horizontal and vertical lines i.e. it makes three rows and three columns. This theory helps to balance the image in a proper manner and it provides natural look to viewer. This skill is already presents in some people who are engaged with the profession of photography.

Before applying this theory we have to look certain things in the object i.e. at first we have to understand the point of interest in the portrait. For example if  we are taking the image of a person we have to look what is the point of attraction in that image whether it is his eyes or his lips and so on. There are many image editing tools available like photoshop, MS picture manager., etc that helps photographer to recompose images after they shot. This theory can be applied in any object whether it’s a portrait, landscape or anything.


  • Understand the important elements of subject and position them near the intersection lines of grids. As the object is close, we don’t have to perfectly line the element.
  • We should provide some empty spaces in picture that helps to maintain balance in a overall composition. We should not place the object in the middle because it creates distraction.
  • We should give more concentration to lighter and darker areas during shooting of landscape. Particularly in landscape shooting high contrast will attract the viewer more.
  • This theory can be implemented with shooting of portraits. We can concentrate on the eyes, hairs and cheeks of portraits which can be point of attraction in that image.
  • In street photography it is very difficult to control the affect of other object. So try to hold the object i.e. color and shape in the environment.

See some examples below

11944125076_ebc3d7cbba_zA well balanced image, captured by – Cristian Bortes [flickr] Member since 2006

11480498385_25b368474d_zA young Face portrait captured by Yuri Y. Samoilov

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Cameras: Is a DSLR right for you?

This Guest Post is written by Mila Johnson of

The digital camera market is becoming muddled with too many choices. Consumers who normally would buy an affordable point-and-shoot now find themselves tempted by DSLR cameras. It’s hard not to be, with their professional look and falling prices. As DSLR camera become more affordable and commonplace in the big-box electronics stores, many camera shoppers find themselves wondering, “Is a DSLR right for me?”

Nikon D3100

The Difference

DSLR – Digital Single Lens Reflex – cameras are meant to emulate the SLR (take off the “D”) camera of old. A hinged mirror lets the photographer see exactly what the lens sees, and then it flips up when the photo is taken. The image sensor is behind the mirror, where the film used to be in SLR cameras. The two bigger differences are that a DSLR camera has a much more complex, high-quality image sensor and interchangeable lenses.

Megapixels vs Image Sensor

Retailers and advertisers love megapixels. It’s easy to stick a number on a camera ad and call it a day. This gives consumers an easy comparison point and they are out the door with the ten megapixel model. It’s more complex than that, though. The quality and size of the image sensor is much more important. Without turning this into a dry scientific article, let’s just stress that DSLR cameras are bigger and thus can house bigger and better sensors. DSLR cameras can have image sensors that are 20 times the size of those in a point-and-shoot, sometimes even bigger than that. Since point-and-shoot cameras are built for convenience, they have smaller image sensors that can’t produce shot quality to match a DSLR, even with a higher megapixel rating.

The Trade-offs

So is a DLSR right for you? It depends. A DSLR, by nature of its superior image sensor, will produce greater shot quality even if its megapixel rating is lower than that of a point-and-shoot. A DLSR is bigger, though, so it’s a matter of evaluating shot quality versus convenience. There is also the argument of simple versus complex. A DSLR requires a lot of practice, study and training to even try to use while a point-and-shoot is, well, point-and-shoot.

The Final Comparison:

Buy a DSLR if you:

  • Are a pro or are really motivated to learn
  • Have a lot of time to dedicate, since this will be a new hobby
  • Don’t mind carrying a lot of gear
  • Are not tied to a strict budget, since the price of accessories adds up fast
  • Consider yourself a “technical person” and learn new technologies quickly

Buy a point-and-shoot if you:

  • Just want a reliable digital camera for weekends, vacations, special occasions and the like
  • Are not very technical
  • Want a camera and not learn a new trade
  • Are on a budget

When shopping for a camera look for deals on cameras online to save!

CCD vs CMOS Sensor

CCD vs CMOS sensor is a big issue, What wikipedia and Howstuff Work says about CCD vs CMOS Sensor, Read the summary given below

CCD sensors create high-quality image with low-noise. CMOS sensors, traditionally, are more susceptible to noise. CCD have better light sensitivity compared to CMOS, CMOS traditionally consumes less power.

The main difference in CCD and CMOS

  • CCD sensors typically produce less NOISE
  • CCD sensors typically are more light-sensitive;
  • CMOS sensors use far less power (up to 100 times less);
  • CMOS sensors cost less to produce.

Mode of Operation / Working Principle

A CCD image sensor is an analog device. In a CCD sensor, When light strikes the chip every pixel’s charge is transferred through a very limited number of output nodes (often just one) to be converted to voltage, buffered, and sent off-chip as an analog signal. All of the pixel can be devoted to light capture, and the output’s uniformity is high, as a result the overall image quality is high.

In a CMOS sensor, each pixel has its own charge-to-voltage conversion, and the sensor often also includes amplifiers, noise-correction, and digitization circuits, so that the chip outputs digital bits. These other functions increase the design complexity and reduce the area available for light capture. With each pixel doing its own conversion, uniformity is lower. But the chip can be built to require less off-chip circuitry for basic operation.

CCD  vs. CMOS in DxOMark Lab

Lecia M9 is a well Known (only)fullfarme camera uses 18 Mpix CCD sensor, It is important to note that Leica is the only brand that still makes cameras with CCD sensors; all other main full-frame cameras have CMOS sensors., DxOMark lab tested the M9  ccd sensor and compared with other CMOS sensor Camera and the result was quite amazing.

Lecia M9 ccd vs Canon 5D CMOS

The Leica M9 provides good image quality for low ISO, but its results for high ISO are weak, with dynamic range decreasing very fast. The Leica M9 achieves the lowest score among measured full-frame sensors.

Lecia M9 vs other Full-frame Sensor Camera

Lecia M9 scores the almost at the last position (just above the old Canon 1Ds) in Full-frame sensor comparison. (see full comparison at DxoMark Lab)

Conclusion: CMOS is a clear winner – There was a time when CCD was the better choice for image quality but the recent development in technology resulted a new and better CMOS sensors with better light sensitivity, image quality, less noise, low power consumption and less cost compared to a traditional CCD sensor.

Video explaining the Depth of field

Nice educational video explaining the Depth of field, Circle of Confusion, Depth of Focus and hyper-focal distance.

this video is reprint at

Nikon D5100 Review

Nikon D5100 16.2MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens, Read the reviews all around the web.

Buy Nikon D5100 at Amazon || B&H

Nikon D5100 Review at Cnet

Though it doesn’t rank first based on any individual aspect of the camera, the Nikon D5100 delivers a solid combination of image quality, performance, features, and design that puts it out in front if you’re looking for a well-rounded option under $1,000.

Amateur photographer hands on review

The camera is 10% smaller than its predecessor, with a new curvier design. It looks almost like a bridge camera, with the kit lens attached and despite the plastic body, still feels solid in the hand. The grip uses an elastic rubber material, which also helps to maintain a solid hold of the camera

More on Reviews

Hands on: Nikon D5100 review at Tech radar