What are the 8 elements of photography?

Many excellent photographs have a supportive concept that justifies the photographer's reason for taking the image in a specific way, Plan. We can't talk about concepts without mentioning planning. The stars in the sky in a photograph are “dots”, just like a blurred light in the background. The same goes for the place where two mountains meet, creating an intersection that attracts the viewer's attention.

Points matter in photography because they are one of the most fundamental ways of drawing our attention, of adding interest to a particular area. It is, of course, the peak of the sand dune, the point. It has a gravity. Our eyes follow the slope lines and end up in the same place.

Like points, lines in photography are not defined as rigidly as lines in geometry. Photographically, anything that connects two parts of a photo or that extends along the composition is a line. This includes a curved road or an irregular mountain ridge, for example. Even the blurred, slightly defined edge of a cloud is usually a line.

Lines also play an important role by connecting two different elements of the photo. They can give structure to the image, which is a crucial part of making an image appear deliberate and intentional. A path that goes from the foreground to the bottom has a way of making the image feel connected. Sometimes the lines in a photo are imaginary, but they're still there.

Imagine a portrait of a boy looking at a toy truck. The space between the child and the truck may be “empty”, but the viewer knows that it's important anyway. There is a line, a connection between the two elements of the photo that makes each one have more impact. Lines don't have the same weight as points.

Instead, they connect dots, divide them or guide the viewer's gaze to the one they want. This makes them some of the most important elements of the composition. Now, we move from the simple elements of the composition to the complex. The shapes can be anything from the waxing moon to the shape of a smiling face.

Each variety of shapes has its own emotional impact on a photo, and it's impossible to generalize. A circle can be peaceful, an evocative heart, a dynamic triangle, etc., but the only thing that can be said about each shape is that they have the power to attract our attention. Sometimes shapes are just the object itself. If you're photographing the sun, it has a circular shape.

Other times, the shapes are more conceptual, like a curved cloud over a curved valley that gives the entire photo a circular composition. The first draws attention; the second gives the photo its structure. In photography, pay attention to the shapes of the photo, whether obvious or abstract. Remember that they are very powerful in attracting our attention, especially simple forms, as well as those of humans and animals.

The texture of an object plays an important role in determining its emotional impact, as well as the amount of attention it attracts. Sometimes, textures themselves can be the subject of the photo, such as patterns in the sand or waves in the water. However, more often, textures are individual elements of a larger photo, whether they give the subject a certain dimension or fill in the spaces between subjects. Areas with more texture tend to attract more attention.

Sometimes, too much texture in “unimportant” areas of a photo can distract attention and make the overall photo look too complex. In other cases, the texture gives the subject a crucial sense of dimension, such as filling the shape of a mountainous landscape. In addition to black and white photography, a creative choice of its own, color makes a big difference in the composition of a photo, as well as in the mood. Each color brings its own emotions to the photograph, a subject that could fill much more than the small space here.

However, the most important distinction you should know right now is that of warm versus cold colors. The warm colors are red, orange and yellow. They are active, jump to the front of an image and transmit more movement and emotion. I'm not just talking about them metaphorically jumping to the front; if you put a bright red dot on a deep blue background, many people genuinely perceive that the red dot is closer to the viewer, almost casting a shadow behind him.

When composing your photos, recognize the colors they contain and try to use their strengths to your advantage. Often, combining a warm color with a cold color creates an interesting sense of contrast, leading to a striking image. Similarly, photos with just one or two dominant colors present a very unified message, a message that can be very successful if created with care. Another important element of the composition is tone, both for individual objects and for the photograph as a whole.

Although tone can refer to the tones and intensity of color, it is also related to the brightness and darkness of an image, as well as to its contrast. Some other words may describe this same concept, but I prefer “tone” because of its connection to music. Photographs that successfully use tone will guide attention through the flow of a photo, just as musical tones guide listeners through the ups and downs of a performance. On a more general level, the tones in a photograph also change your overall emotions.

Darker photographs tend to darken the subject more, giving it a mysterious, intense and even refined look. Brighter photographs are more ethereal and optimistic. Therefore, pay attention to the tones of your photo, both in the field and in post-processing. They control the way the viewer flows through the photo, as well as the emotions that the photo transmits.

Beyond that, distance also applies to the concept of forms, as mentioned above, or, more broadly, structure. The most common composition structures are simply a line (connecting two areas of interest) and a triangle (three). But as you add more and more subjects, in addition to playing with the distances between them, you'll create compositions with significantly more complex structures. What elements attract the most attention? More than anything else, they are the faces and eyes, particularly of people, but also of animals.

In addition to that, bright areas, sharp areas, high-contrast regions, vivid colors, unusual objects and interesting textures also attract attention. Positive space is any part of the photo that attracts attention. Areas with significant visual weight are usually positive spaces. The same goes for areas with high levels of texture.

Negative space is the “padding” between regions of positive space. It doesn't necessarily fade into the background like cold colors usually do, but it's not the part of the photo that attracts the most attention. It's not just something small, like a texture that is repeated throughout the photo, but about any element that is repeated. Even the reflection of a mountain in a pool of water is a pattern, one that should not be underestimated, since it links the photo together.

For example, each image includes lines. Each image includes textures, tones and more. The line is the simplest of all photographic elements. Any line that appears in your photo.

However, some lines are obvious, such as the main lines, which guide the viewer through the frame. Since lines are everywhere, it's impossible to take a picture without them. However, by making the lines more obvious and discrete, you can guide the viewer's gaze through the frame; the lines are natural “directors”, meaning that the eye practically always follows a line, no matter where it goes. On the other hand, by reducing the importance of lines (by joining them together to form a shape, for example), you can create less flow in an image and, potentially, more tension.

As I said in the previous section, lines form shapes. The space can be positive if it is occupied by a line or a shape. Texture refers to small variations in the surface of an object. Therefore, if a rock is very rough and cracked, it is full of texture, but if the rock has been softened by waves, it has no texture.

Every object is somewhere on the texture scale. Manufactured objects tend to have less texture (think plastic and metal), while natural objects tend to have much more texture (e.g. ex. Now, when it comes to texture, you can use light differently to emphasize it or push it back.

Using the side light, you'll highlight any texture present on your subject. However, by using the front light, you'll reduce the texture (and a backlit silhouette will lose it almost completely). Both are reasonable movements, depending on the type of photo you're looking for. A textured image tends to feel tense and even chaotic.

While an untextured image is calmer and even peaceful. Here, tone refers to what we often think of as color; examples of different shades include red, green, orange, blue and pink. The luminance or value refers to the luminosity of a color. It can have light reds or dark reds, light greens or dark greens, etc.

It is also possible to completely desaturate colors to achieve a black and white effect. Photographers often forget about the need for color, but color is one of the most important elements you'll encounter. By including colors that match well, you'll create a harmonious scene and, by including colors that clash, you'll create a lot of tension. Tone refers to the level of clarity or darkness of different parts of a photo.

Therefore, a photo taken at night will generally have a very dark tone in general, while a photo taken at noon can have a mix of light and dark tones, etc. Keep in mind that the tone varies from area to area in a photo. Therefore, a corner may have a very dark shade, but the center may have a very light shade, or vice versa. A lot can be done by carefully manipulating the tone.

For example, you can reveal details by increasing the clarity of tones, or you can hide details by decreasing the luminosity of tones. Tone is one of the key areas that photographers focus on during post-processing because of its effect on overall photography. Tone matters, and by carefully selecting tones, you can change the mood, the areas that are emphasized or de-emphasized, and the shape of the subject. For example, you can combine several similar colors to achieve color harmony (p.

Or you can combine several similar textures to achieve textural harmony (p. Now, patterns aren't just limited to physical elements, but are also made up of colors (for example, if the color red appears throughout the photograph), shapes (for example, if you have curves around the shot), textures, and more. You can achieve color contrast by juxtaposing colors on the color wheel, such as yellow and blue, on the color wheel. First, there are the main lines, a basic element of landscape photography; these move the eye along the line and inside the photo.

They're a great way to keep the viewer on track and direct them to the main subject. Second, there's the golden spiral, which gives you a good guide to creating a compositional flow. The main lines of photography: how to use them, examples, ideas. Understanding design elements and how they complement each other can help the photographer establish the intentions of a photo and create an impressive work.

Color is more than just a visually pleasing element, it contributes to many things within a photograph. Every time you look at an image, no matter how good, bad or mediocre it is, you should be able to easily separate it into its different elements. Of course, images with a lot of harmonious elements will feel more united than images with just a couple of harmonious elements. And when you're done, you'll be able to use these elements and principles to create your own stunning photos.

Sometimes, a “lighter” element can balance a “heavier” element simply by being further away from the center of a photo, such as balancing a child and an adult on a rocker. Therefore, by including or excluding harmonious elements, you can create more peaceful or more intense photos. Although there are more than ten elements of the composition, these are the most important that photographers should know. I'll explain all the elements and principles of photography that you need to know.

Rather than applying them to individual objects in a photo, the following four elements have to do with how the different parts of a photo interact. Keep in mind that these concepts are far from new: photography takes some elements and principles from classic art and design. Most other composition techniques, from simplicity to emotion, begin with the elements of composition mentioned above. .


Sponsored by ADM Photo & Video - click here for directions

ADM Photo & Video
1400 Colonial Blvd, Suite 41
Fort Myers, FL 33907
Tel: (239) 362-3842
Plus Code: H4W7+59 Fort Myers, Florida

Opening Hours (by appointment only):

  • Sunday: 09:00am to 08:00pm
  • Monday: 09:00am to 08:00pm
  • Tuesday: 09:00am to 08:00pm
  • Wednesday: 09:00am to 08:00pm
  • Thursday: 09:00am to 08:00pm
  • Friday: 09:00am to 08:00pm
  • Satday: 09:00am to 08:00pm


John Pfannenstiel
John Pfannenstiel

Born in South Africa, John fell in love on his 14th birthday when his parents presented him with his first camera. After photographing insects, lizards, and snakes in his own backyard, John felt he had found his calling in life, and a career in photography beckoned. John set up his first photography business when he was 23 and has since traveled the world and worked with many famous photographers.