Photography Composition Rules

A Guide to Captivating Images

In the world of photography, creating stunning and captivating images is an art form. It goes beyond just clicking a button and hoping the picture will be nice. We compose an image that tells a story, evokes emotions, and leaves a lasting impression on the viewer. For underwater photography the same rules apply . To achieve this, understanding and applying photography composition rules is crucial.

In this article, we will explore the fundamental principles of photography composition that every aspiring underwater  photographer should know.

The Rule of Thirds

One of the most basic yet powerful composition rules in photography is the Rule of Thirds. Imagine dividing your image into nine equal parts with two horizontal and two vertical lines. The points where these lines intersect are where you should place the key elements of your photo. This technique adds balance and interest to your composition. When photographing underwater animals, place their eyes on one of the upper horizontal lines. This draws attention to the subject’s eyes and creates a natural balance within the frame.

Symmetry and Patterns

Humans are naturally drawn to symmetry and patterns. The people considered The most beautiful are almost always the most symmetrical ones. Well, underwater it’s the same, Photography Composition Rules apply. Incorporating these elements into your underwater photos can create visually pleasing and harmonious compositions.

Find Symmetry in Nature: Look for symmetrical elements in nature, such as reflections in water, perfectly aligned eyes or nudibranch rhinophores. Subjects looking straight at the camera will also have a more “human” look and will make viewers relate more to the image. Symmetry can add a sense of tranquility to your images and many times a WOW effect.

Breathing room

The breathing room in photography is the empty space surrounding your subject. It provides balance, context, and visual relief to your images. Without proper breathing room, your photos can feel cluttered and chaotic, making it difficult for viewers to focus on the subject.

Create Balance: Balancing your composition is essential when considering breathing room. Placing your subject off-center and allowing more space on the side the subject is looking at can create a harmonious and visually appealing image.

Leading Lines

Leading lines are a fantastic way to guide the viewer’s eyes through your photograph. These can be actual lines or elements within your image that lead the viewer towards the main subject.

Natural Leading Lines: Nature provides us with numerous leading lines, such as crinoids, animals, and branches. Incorporating these lines can make your photos more dynamic and visually appealing.

Depth of Field

Controlling the depth of field is essential in photography composition. It allows you to control what’s in focus and what’s not, emphasizing your subject.

Create Bokeh: To achieve a beautiful bokeh effect, use a wide aperture (small f-number) to blur the background, making your subject stand out. The contrast between a blurry background and a sharp subject will make it pop much more.

Mastering photography composition rules is a journey that takes practice and creativity. By understanding and applying these principles, you can take your photography to the next level and create images that leave a lasting impression. But rules are meant to be broken and don’t always work together. Your creative process will require you to know the rules and use the rules when best suited.

Join our underwater photo course in Amed Bali to improve your Photography Composition techniques.

Here is what our guests think about us!

Martin Steiner
Martin Steiner
My wife did a Underwater photo course with Jerome. All was very well organized in a very relaxed way and the results were incredible. Before photos were average but after 1 full day of training the quality and level of interest in her Makro photos improved to a absolute "I love to see her photos level. After being back in Bali I told her to do another training and it was worth it as well. Highly recommended !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
mayanah z
mayanah z
Très belle expérience mémorable avec Jérôme et son équipe. Beaucoup de partage et de générosité ! Jérôme a été adorable et professionnel. Passionné, à l'écoute, pédagogue, réactif, il s'applique à personnaliser la théorie et la pratique selon les demandes et besoins, et transmet copieusement son savoir et ses techniques (et même des photos bonus en plus =)). Le tout dans une ambiance parfaite. Je conseille de faire plusieurs jours à ses côtés afin de pouvoir pleinement profiter de l'apprentissage et parvenir à une bonne maîtrise durable pour votre pratique, photo comme vidéo. Merci pour tous ces moments et a très vite ! Plouf ! Maria
Jean Metzler
Jean Metzler
Je recommande fortement et sans hésitation les services et cours de Jérome, surtout si vous êtes débutant ou si vous voulez vous perfectionner en photographie ou video sous marine. Merci Jérome 🙏🙏
bruno transcript
bruno transcript
Merci Jérôme pour tout tes conseils avisés. Depuis 10 ans c'est toujours enrichissant de passer sous l'oeil critique d'un expert. Merci de nous tirer par le haut. Amicalement
Sylvain Veron
Sylvain Veron
Merci à Jérôme pour ce cours photo où j’ai appris beaucoup de chose qui m’ont permis de progresser. Je recommande vivement.
Clem 32
Clem 32
J'ai passé 5 jours avec Jérôme pour effectuer un stage de photographie sous-marine... et quelle rencontre ! Quelle expérience ! Jérôme est très pédagogue, avec une approche graduelle adaptée pour un débutant en prises de vues sous-marines comme moi. Il m'a transmis les fondamentaux pour obtenir des clichés optimaux. J'ai été étonné de ma progression rapide effectuée à ses côtés. J'ai été très content des résultats obtenus ! Alors, que vous soyez débutant ou pas en photo/vidéo subaquatique, foncez chez Plouf Diving avec Jérôme pour vous former !
Max JU
Max JU
if u want to learn photo or video graphy this is the place tp learn.. )) the owner of dive shop really friendly and helpfulll
Lúcia Pinto
Lúcia Pinto
Absolutely recommend! I had an a amazing time with Jerome and his team. There was great technical advise and I loved all my dives in Amed and Tulamben. Everything is very well organized. Don't hesitate!!

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