DigitalPhotographySchool

Digital Photography Composition and its Elements

"Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera."― Henri Cartier-Bresson

Good Composition combines the artistic with the technical to create, produce and grab attention with your photographs.  There is never been a case where two people with identical camera have had the same approach to snap the same photograph, sure you learn the basics but everyone interprets a subject in a photograph very differently. 

Today, we cover some key elements that will help you improve your composition in your photography. (FYI this will also help your cinematography)...

Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park- New York

Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park- New York

Clarity and simplicity are the very important keys to good composition. It is most important to be aware of your surroundings, walk a couple of times around the same place and at different times of the day. See what captures and inspires you to make a photograph. So before you press-on that shutter release concentrate on the composition as a whole not just on the subject. 

Make sure ask yourself, Have I really looked outside of my viewfinder?, what is this scene telling me?, If I snap this photo how will it take away from my subject?

Couple grabbing a snack at a convince stand in Time Square, New York

Couple grabbing a snack at a convince stand in Time Square, New York

The primary visual elements in composition that is quickly over looked is geometry, color, light and shadows. Everywhere you look there is lines and shapes. There is also color, texture, contrast, and hues. Light and shadows will help you paint your photos. Shadows create contrast and dramatic scenes, while light illuminates and highlights subjects or objects. 

On the photo above we have rectangles, squares, circles, vertical and horizontal lines. We also have colors,  contrast, texture and hues. Then finally we have light, on the upper corners of the photo you see that the sky is diffused because its a cloudy day, but to the down right corner where our subjects are buying snacks, we can see that they have sunlight coming from the right of the photo highlighting them in a very subtle way, which creates a really nice shadow and contrast on her and his coats. 

Lightner Museum Halway - St. Augustine, FL 

Lightner Museum Halway - St. Augustine, FL 

When placing and arranging these elements together we want to create and produce a three-dimensional reality or perception in a two dimensional photo. Secondary elements, like sharpness, perspectives, and timing (especially with moving subjects), and visual balance will also partake in the composition on the photographs that you make. 

Newton Park Boardwalk Winter Garden FL

Lastly go out there and take it all in, see it first with your eyes, see the patterns, and forms of your scenes and subjects. Once that you have the perspective of your elements, Then look through the viewfinder or the back of the lcd and snap that photo. 

People of New York walking down Manhatan 47th Street - New York

People of New York walking down Manhatan 47th Street - New York

With practice your personal composition in photographs will determine how effectively your photographs communicate with your audience . Keep shooting and have fun and enjoy the good times.

Up your Phone Photography with some Apps

“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”
Don McCullin

Sunset at the peer in Clearwater Beach, Florida - iPhone 7s - VSCO app

Sunset at the peer in Clearwater Beach, Florida - iPhone 7s - VSCO app

Portability is something everyone likes, heck I love having the ability to go portable, that is why your phone is the most versatile device that you have on your hands. When I'm on a short weekend trip, my go to camera is my phone. I'll tell a quick why, because sometimes when you are out with friends and family is just good to leave the big camera at home. Its time to take in the good times and snap a couple of memories for keep sake.

With Phone photography being so popular, we figured to help you ladies and gents out to improve your photography using your phone and some cool apps that we recommend.  So lets get down to business.

Marriot World Center Hotel - iPhone 7s - VSCO App

Marriot World Center Hotel - iPhone 7s - VSCO App

One of the awesome apps is the Sunseeker app, available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. This app lets you see the suns trajectory from sunrise to sunset. It lets you track the sun and time, especially for golden hour time. Sunseeker has a free 'Lite' version and a full version for $9 (it's also available for $6 for Android). This app can help influence your scheduling through out the day and make you more efficient while taking photos when you are out and about. 

Sunseeker provides a flat compass view and an  augmented reality 3-D view showing the solar path, its hour intervals, its equinox, winter and summer solstice paths, rise and set times, twilight times, magic hours and more and a map view showing solar direction for each daylight hour. Also includes sun-event device notifications plus a widget

Sunseeker provides a flat compass view and an  augmented reality 3-D view showing the solar path, its hour intervals, its equinox, winter and summer solstice paths, rise and set times, twilight times, magic hours and more and a map view showing solar direction for each daylight hour. Also includes sun-event device notifications plus a widget

Another great app is the VSCO app, this app is also available for the Android phone and the iPhone. This app lets you edit your photos like a pro. It has film emulation filters that let you gradually color grade your photos in your phone. VSCO is one amazing app that is a must to have in your phone apps.

The VSCO app (previously known as VSCO Cam) is a powerful all-in one camera, editing and photo sharing app, The camera includes advanced manual controls, and the photo editor has a wide selection of elegant film-like filters and essential adjustment tools.

The VSCO app (previously known as VSCO Cam) is a powerful all-in one camera, editing and photo sharing app, The camera includes advanced manual controls, and the photo editor has a wide selection of elegant film-like filters and essential adjustment tools.

Zellwood Florida Railroad- iPhone 7s - Adobe Lightroom Mobile App- VSCO

Zellwood Florida Railroad- iPhone 7s - Adobe Lightroom Mobile App- VSCO

Our last but not least is the Adobe Lightroom Mobile app for iPhone and Android is another great tool to edit your photos, plus if you the Adobe Creative Cloud service, you can sync the photos in your phone to your Adobe CC portal and have it synced in your laptop, tablet, and other devices.  If you have the Adobe CC account you don't need to buy the extra presets it just comes built in once you log in to the app with your Adobe CC account.

Adobe Lightroom CC for mobile is a free app that gives you a powerful, yet simple solution for capturing, editing and sharing your photos. And you can upgrade for premium features that give you precise control with seamless access across all your devices – mobile, desktop and web.


Adobe Lightroom CC for mobile is a free app that gives you a powerful, yet simple solution for capturing, editing and sharing your photos. And you can upgrade for premium features that give you precise control with seamless access across all your devices – mobile, desktop and web.

Playa Isabella Puerto Rico, USA - Iphone 7s - Adobe Lightroom CC Mobile - VSCO

Playa Isabella Puerto Rico, USA - Iphone 7s - Adobe Lightroom CC Mobile - VSCO

Now that you know about these great apps, its time for you my friends to go out there to experiment and get creative. By all means use these app as tools, not just to apply a filter to your photo and its done. No, use the apps to really bring out the emotions in the colors of your photos, deliver the feels, and share the moment. Really put your thoughts into it and paint a piece of art to put on the wall. Challenge your selves to be creative and proficient on your photos.

Look out for our next post, if you would like us to make a post about a certain topic send us a message and let us know. Till next time!