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Frame composition: basic elements, construction rules, borders, compositional frame and tips from experienced photographers
Frame composition: basic elements, construction rules, borders, compositional frame and tips from experienced photographers

Professional photographers know the importance of composition. In order for the picture to turn out natural and spectacular, it is necessary to correctly focus on the depicted object, and knowing the basic rules of composition will help you with this.


Scientifically proven that every color has an emotional impact on a person. So, warm colors (red, orange, yellow) and their shades are associated with the sun and summer. Cool colors, such as purple, pink, and blue, visually distance objects from the viewer. They are associated with water, winter and cold.

Special attention must be paid to saturation if you want the composition of the frame in the photo to evoke a certain feeling in the audience. To create a sense of nostalgia and peace, use soft tones. If you want to attract attention, create a sensual shot that people will remember for a long time, give preference to bright colors.

Frame composition

Professionals warn beginners against mistakes when choosing colors. To make the photo harmonious,do not place bright color spots away from the most important object. This will confuse the viewer and prevent people from seeing the frame correctly.


A photo should grab attention. Follow the tips below to keep your eyes “hooked” on the image.

  • It is customary to shoot light objects against a dark background, and vice versa.
  • If you are photographing people, avoid brown and yellow backgrounds. Otherwise, the picture will come out unnatural.
  • If the idea does not require it, do not use colorful backgrounds, as they distract attention from the main object.

Remember that all objects must be in some kind of balance. Therefore, when placing a bright object in one part of the picture, make sure that there is something in the other that will also attract the viewer's attention. It could be an action or a splash of color.

Texture and patterns

Pattern in a photograph is a recurring object that creates a frame composition. This technique can be used in photography of an interior, landscape or architectural monument. Textures, combined with light and shadows, add some zest to the picture. With their help, you can focus on various materials.

Frame composition in interior photography

Odd object rule

Experienced photographers advise placing an odd number of objects in the frame. It is believed that this will help the viewer focus on important objects. In some cases, of course, this rule is usednot allowed: for example, if you are shooting a family portrait.

Location of objects

The composition of the frame should be built in such a way that the important elements of the photo form the simplest geometric shapes, such as squares or triangles. This will allow you to focus on the depicted objects. This advice is given by professional photographers.

  • Rectangles and squares evoke a sense of stability.
  • Circles and ovals are associated with a calm and cozy atmosphere.
  • The triangle at the bottom of the frame creates the illusion of stability. If you place this shape on top of a photograph, it will give a feeling of instability.

We have already talked about the color balance in the frame above. Do not forget that the items must match each other in size and volume. If you have placed a large object in one part of the picture, then use the angle to focus on the subject in another part.

In some cases, the composition of the frame in photography must be built using the laws of symmetry. Sometimes the main subject is placed in the center to create an unusual shot. The composition is centered (the important object is exactly in the middle), which means that the rest of the objects can be placed symmetrically to each other. If you are shooting a landscape with water, then the symmetry rule is a must! Choose an angle so that objects and their reflections are symmetrical, and take one of the best shots of your life.

Frame composition in photography

Golden Section Rule

If we turn to historical data, we can understand that the ancient Egyptians knew about this rule. The world famous artist Leonardo da Vinci worked on studying the properties of the golden section. What is the essence of the rule? It is necessary to visually "divide" the frame into 9 equal parts. The points of intersection of the lines are called nodes of attention. This is where the main object of the frame should be placed. You can achieve an interesting effect by placing the horizon line at the level of one third of the picture.

Professionals advise not to neglect the rule of the golden section, because its use will make the photograph harmonious. By the way, modern cameras have the ability to display such a grid, which makes the work of photographers easier.


Professionals advise to build the composition of the frame using diagonal lines. This technique is considered one of the most effective, with its help high-quality images are created. The essence of the technique is to place all the most important objects along the diagonals. This will allow you to "direct" the viewer's gaze in the right direction.

The human brain perceives the world around us from left to right and from bottom to top. People study photos in the same order, so put important items at the bottom left of the photo. This will allow you to correctly place accents in the composition in the frame. The photos presented in this article illustrate this technique.

Frame composition

Lines don't have to be straight. Using smooth curved lines, you unobtrusively "accompany" the viewer to the main element.frame. You can "guide" people's eyes with intersecting lines. If the intersection point is in front of the object you want to focus on, then it will play the role of an arrow. If the lines intersect outside the frame, then the illusion of free space is created, depth and perspective are added.


When composing your frame, remember to use vertical frames for vertical objects, and the same goes for horizontal objects. The first option is suitable for shooting portraits, high-rise buildings and towers. Use horizontal composition when shooting landscapes.

An interesting way to highlight the plot and compositional center using frame borders is a technique called "frame in frame", or framing. Frames include windows, hanging branches, doorways, and arches.

Angle and shooting point

Experienced photographers know firsthand how important it is to find the right angle. Here are some tips from the pros on how to choose the best vantage point.

Frame composition rules
  • When taking a portrait, position the camera at eye level. If you are photographing a full-length person, place the shooting point at the level of the subject's waist.
  • Watch the position of the horizon line: it should not divide the frame into two equal parts. It will be difficult for the viewer to focus on an important object if it is literally divided in half.
  • The camera must be located at the level of the depicted object. If aphotograph an object or person from above, it will appear too small, and vice versa.


If you take a photo without taking care of the rules of composition of the frame, the picture will turn out to be two-dimensional. However, professionals have learned to convey volume, or depth of space, or perspective, using three plans: foreground, middle and rear. Let's consider this technique on the example of a landscape. Place small objects like rocks in the foreground, trees and bushes in the middle, and mountains in the background.

There is another way to convey perspective. To do this, you need to put the main object in the foreground or middle plan, and blur the background. Photographers advise using the widest aperture for natural blurring.

Frame Composition Basics

With experience, you will learn how to convey the depth of the frame using colors and shades. A sense of volume will appear if darker objects are placed in the foreground. Light objects are known to appear more distant, while dark objects appear closer.


When building a frame composition, you need to take into account many details, among them - movement. If you are shooting an object that is not in a static state, then you must leave free space in front of it. The frame will look like the subject has just “entered” it, giving the illusion of space.


Experienced photographers advise beginners to use every opportunity to practice shooting. Basic construction techniquescompositions can be learned in a fairly short time, but it is necessary to gain personal experience in creating photographs and constantly increase the knowledge base.

Composition in a photo frame

In this article, only the basics of frame composition were presented. This does not mean that all of the above recommendations must be followed unquestioningly. You need to know the rules by which the composition is built, and deliberate violation of them will allow you to create unique shots.

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