Shape photography: how to balance your composition (and when to break the rules)

Managing shapes in silhouette photography

Choose your own rules of shape photography


Choose your own rules of shape photography

You can’t take photos without breaking one or more of the classic compositional rules, and here’s the perfect example. This shot, for instance, relies for its composition on the sense of balance we talk about in this section.

In this instance, the pedestrian (bottom right) is balanced by the window frame (top left). This breaks a cardinal rule in composition that states that subjects should always have space in front of them to move into.

Strictly speaking, our subject should have been moving towards the centre of the frame from the edge, but our version highlights a valuable point about photo composition – breaking the rules can be more effective than sticking to them.

Having our main subject on the verge of walking out of the frame introduces a tension and a visual interest that a correct version wouldn’t have.

PAGE 1: Achieving balance in your shape photography
PAGE 2: Choose your own rules of shape photography
PAGE 3: How to manage silhouettes


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