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Composition rules for stock photos

Let's talk about the most popular key principles of composition, proportion and location of objects in the frame. About what you need to pay attention to when implementing ideas and how to make the best-selling shot in this article.

The classic and most demanded proportion for photography is the 2:3 proportion - in a horizontal arrangement, it is becouse of that photographs that are most conveniently embedded for news in an online newspaper or for bloggers, and are also used in various advertising sources.

For stock photography, the basic principles of composition are important. As the analysis of the top photos for key queries shows, the most purchased photos are photos that comply with the rules of the third and the central rule.

So, what is the rule of thirds and how does it work? We divide the frame of the photo into 3 parts vertically and into three parts horizontally and get 2 horizontal and vertical guides. It is believed that the strongest place and the main object of the image should be located on these guides, and especially at their intersections. There is a theory that our brain subconsciously pays attention to precisely these areas of the image and therefore, when shooting, it is necessary to place important objects on these lines and better at the intersections of these lines.

In the viewfinder of the camera, you can configure the grid to rule of thirds.
The mass buyer basically selects pictures that follow this simple rule. The rule of thirds is not the only, but exciting.

The second rule of the most purchased photographs on photo banks is the central composition. The central composition is when you draw two guides that divide your frame in half vertically and horizontally and, accordingly, your main object have to be located on these guides and at their intersections.

Including a combination of these two rules, compositions prevail in the top of purchases at photobanks.

The rule of the third and central composition works best when you simplify your photo and you have only one main object, as well as a background that supports your main object, but does not distract it. It is important to simplify your photographs to one central object that conveys the whole idea and history the plot, because simplicity is the power. The best-selling are simple photographs with a clear story and scene.

There is also the rule of diagonals (the rotated rule of thirds by 45 degrees), the rule of triangles, the famous golden ratio, the golden spiral associated with the numbers of fibonacci. You can apply them by arranging various experiments when photographing. But do not forget that any rules exist in order to break them, so it’s not necessary to follow the rules fanatically, sometimes your intuition and your vision work much better.

As for the direction of the location of objects in the frame, when applying the central composition or the rule of thirds, it is necessary to take into account the front part of the object. The front part of the object can be not only when there is the people (where the face is there is the front part), but also in objects. It is not difficult to guess where the front part of various objects is, you just need to ask the question which side this or that object is facing forward, for example, in the teapot the front part will be on the side of the nose, in the car the front part is on the windshield side, the microphone has a mesh and etc.

In classical interpretation, the rules for the location of objects should be more space in front of the object than behind it.

In fact, the ratio of the space in front of and behind your object have great importance and very often determines the mood of the picture.

In European countries, it is believed that we are developing from left to right in the horizontal plane and from bottom to top in the vertical. Therefore, the classical arrangement of the object from left to right indicates that the object in our country is striving for the future, is on the path of development. If a person or an object is aimed at the past, recalls the past, it is directed to the left.

But the ratio of the space in front also matters. If the front part of the object abuts the frame and the space in front is less than the space behind, this indicates that the object is trying to go beyond the existing situation.

If we put the object in the middle (the same amount of space both in front and behind), we will show some stability in the situation, we observe the balance.

This is not a strict rule, it is a person’s perception of the image and everyone is subject to it more or less, but marketers often apply these rules, and people subconsciously feel them.

Of course, a lot depends on the nature of the picture, on the type of model, the emotions that the picture conveys, the task that needs to be achieved, and the culture of the community for whom the picture is intended. It is important to understand the principle of the direction of movement of the object in the frame, because by understanding this you will learn to predict the mood and feelings of your potential buyer.