Friday, 30 November 2012

The importance of composition

I'd like to write a bit about composition and why it is important. To start this off i asked myself a few questions: What is/Does composition, How to apply composition, what different types of composition are there ?

So first off, What is (visual) composition ? There's many different types of composition. it doesn't surprise that when looking in a dictionary tells:

"the act of combining parts or elements to form a whole."(

"The combining of distinct parts or elements to form a whole" and "Arrangement of artistic parts so as to form a unified whole."  (

the action of putting things together; formation or construction"

but the best example was found on:
"The plan, placement or arrangement of the elements of art in a work. It is often useful to discuss these in reference to the principles of design, as well as to the relative weightof the composition's parts."

So why is this so important ?

Composition should be applied to get the viewers interest , whether this is a game, a cut scene, a still or concept piece. There's many ways in which this can be achieved and many things that need to be though through. Balance, Focus point, Contrast, proportion and harmony.

A well composed painting: The silver goblet by Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin 

What is important in composition ?

There's a lot of different ways composition can be applied as mentioned:

Harmony: Making sure everything fits together and nothing feels out of place.

Balance:  If your main subject is on the left side of the screen do you add another object to fill up the empty space to make it more interesting ? Not doing so can give the viewer a sense of imbalance

The chess pieces are placed in the frame in a way that makes the image in balance.
(Photo found on:

Focus point: The point where the viewers interest should be leading towards to

contrast: The differences between dark shades and lighter and/or the way colors are applied.

A good example of a photo with contrast made by: Siddharthan Raman

proportion: How would things be displayed, far away or really close by and how do they relate to other objects ?

Background:  a good background can make the focus point stand out more easily and/or lead the viewers eye the path it should follow.

Small tricks that can be used:

there's a few things that can help out on making a composition

Rule of thirds: In the rule of thirds it's all about the placements within frames.  The screen is divided in a grid of 3 by 3. If then the object of interest is placed aligning to either of the crossing lines it should make a much more interesting to the eye as having the object of interest in the middle looks dull and boring( even though it's called center of interest it shouldn't actually be in the center)
Counterpoint is when you place a secondary focus point on the diagonal opposite of the other  this makes an image even more interesting

A good example of how the rule of thirds is applied in a photo by:

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