5 ways to compose an image for supreme impact: easy tips to train your creative eye

Compose an image with impact: 01 Shoot low for portraits

Compose an image with impact: 03 Shoot close for sports

Compose an image with impact: 03 Shoot close for sports

For really dramatic sports images, get in on the action with a wide-angle lens

What’s the angle?

Rather than using a long telephoto lens, and shooting from a distance, for this technique to work you need to get as close to the action as possible – that way, you can use a wide-angle lens, which will help you include all of the action, and a lot more of the background than a shot taken with a long telephoto lens.

When it works

With a wide-angle lens you need to be able to get really close to the action for frame-filling shots, so this isn’t a suitable technique for all sports – you’ll find it easiest to get close to the action at sports such as motocross, mountain biking or running races rather than, say, motor racing or most team sports.

Why it works
Getting in close will really emphasise the sense of speed and action. It can also make the viewer feel much more a part of the action than a telephoto image taken from a distance.

SEE MORE: How to get composition right every time

Things to watch out for
Getting close to any action can be a risky business, so never put yourself in an area that could be dangerous.

Most organised sporting events will have rules only allowing you access to reasonably safe areas, and marshalls to make sure that you adhere to these rules.

How to compose an image with impact: 01 Shoot low for portraits
How to compose an image with impact: 02 Shoot high for cityscapes
How to compose an image with impact: 03 Shoot close for sports
How to compose an image with impact: 04 Shoot upwards for abstracts
How to compose an image with impact: 05 Shoot long for landscapes

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