10 Top Photography Composition Rules

ROT (Rule of Thirds) — BE (Balancing Elements) LL — (Leading Lines) SAP (Symmetry and Patterns) — V (Viewpoint) B (Background) D (Depth) — F (Framing) C (Cropping) E (Experimentation)

…naturally this all leads to ROT BELL SAP VBD FCE

…obviously pronounced /rät/ /bel/ /sap/ /vē-bi-di/ /fās/

Photography is a form of art both similar and dissimilar to writing. Both photography and writing attempt to affect their target audiences moods, feelings, and attitudes. Additionally, both these two forms of art attempt to persuade and impress their viewers through rhetorical means. However, they differ from one another through their varying means of persuasion, one uses images while the other uses text.

A brief analysis of the “10 Top Photography Composition Rules” (kind of an ironic title because of this quote taken directly from the website “the only rule in photography is that there are no rules”) informs the reader that truly affective and rhetorical photography and imagery stems from what I will refer to as ROT BELL SAP VBD FCE.

ROT –> Rule of Thirds

Impose an imaginary 3×3 grid of the image you are trying to capture and make sure your most important elements reside on top of imaginary guidelines.

BE –> Balancing Elements

Place your most important elements on the outskirts of your photo; however, make sure that the rest of the image is balanced out by other elements

LL –> Leading Lines

Have a central “line” through the image that captivates the viewers and pulls them into the photograph/image.

SAP –> Symmetry and Patterns

Try to incorporate symmetry and patterns because they are eye-catching to the viewer

VBD –> Viewpoint, Background, & Depth

Think about where you will shoot your photo from, viewpoint plays a critical role in captivating the viewers. Capture a background that is smooth and blends with the central elements of the photo, but don’t choose one that is too distracting. Attempt to create a sense of depth within the picture itself.

FCE–> Framing, Cropping, & Experimentation

Make natural “frames” that capture the beauty of the central elements within the photo. Crop your photos tightly in order to evoke impact. Go crazy, try new things, don’t be afraid to experiment!

Now you know the gist of it, grab a camera and ROT BELL SAP VBD FCE everywhere!

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