Probably it’s not the best title for this article, because there are no rigid rules in photography, however, there are some useful tips which might help us to improve the composition of our photos. By following these ideas, we will be able to take more impressive images. These guidelines were collected over the years to help us improve our photography portfolio. Mastering photo composition assist us to take outstanding images not just “snapshots”.

Photocomposition is the arrangement of all of the elements in the picture. Like I said there are no unbreakable rules but guidelines in almost any situation, to boost up a forgettable photo to an amazing image.

In this article, I am going to list a few composition techniques, which can create an overall perspective of balance when looking at the picture.

1. Rule of thirds

Probably this is the most basic “rule” of photography composition. The theory is pretty simple. Just imagine that the image is divided into 9 equal sections (3 horizontal and 3 vertical). The “rule” says to place the important elements in the image on one of the lines, or where the lines meet. It will add balance and attention to the photo. We have a natural habit of centering our subject directly in the middle of the picture. By using the rule of thirds guideline, we will get a slightly different result. Some cameras have a built-in setting that shows the gridlines in the viewfinder to find the sweet points easier.

To be fair, it’s more simple to apply this rule in landscape photography, or when taking portraits, then in aviation photography, as most of the time we have to correctly center our images, but apparently, there are exceptions in some cases.

2. Fill the frame

The compositional design to filling the whole frame with our subject helps to concentrate on the details without any distraction and also a great way to draw attention to something. It’s an effective tool to achieve creative images. Leaving too much empty space makes the subject smaller and causes clutter. To avoid this problem, try to get closer to the subject or zoom in the picture.

3. Leading lines

It’s one of the most useful composition tools from all of them. Our eyes are automatically drawn along lines when we are looking at the picture. We can use these elements to lead the viewer’s eye to a specific part of the image. There are many different types of lines, such as straight, diagonal, curvy, zigzag, etc. and they exist everywhere, we just need to find them around our scene. We can find them in nature, like paths, fences, buildings, trees, walls etc. By using them we create a balance in our picture and also guide our eyes gently towards the focus point of the image. Furthermore, they add a sense of depth to the picture.

4. Keep image composition balanced

Balance means when the components in the picture are organized in a way that feels natural. It’s really important to keep a visual balance between the elements on the image to feel natural, otherwise, our photo can be less attractive.

Especially in those cases when we apply the rule of thirds, our image sometimes needs a balance, because the subject is off-center. By filling the empty space with a smaller, less significant element in the background, we can add balance to our composition.

5. Symmetry and patterns

Symmetry means the subject looks the same on one side as it does on the other. There are natural and also man-built symmetries around us, such as reflections, lines of trees, patterns, etc. It gives more impact to our image and a guaranteed method to catch attention. Also, a great way to break the rule of thirds. When photographing symmetrical subjects, make sure to shoot from the middle of the formation.

6. Cropping

It’s a very useful tool to rearrange the composition if needed. Sometimes our subject is too small in the frame, so we need to correct our mistakes and reframe the image by cropping the unwanted pieces.

7. Viewpoint

Viewpoint refers to the position where the image was taken from. Before shooting our subject we should think about where will we shoot it from. An interesting viewpoint can make the photo’s mood intensely. We got used to shoot from eye level, but there are many different ways to explore, such as climbing up on a higher surface, getting low to the ground, from a long way away or from very close, etc.

8. Background

Too busy backgrounds or foregrounds can drag our eyes from focusing on the subject and also can ruin our image. When shooting static airplanes, make sure there are no unwanted items around the subject that can pull attention from where it meant to be.

9. Framing

Frames can isolate the subject from the other parts of the picture, drawing attention to it. Finding frames it’s quite difficult when shooting planes in the air. Maybe there are more opportunities when capturing static aircraft. There are no limits, all we need to do, use our creativity to find attention-grabbing frames.

10. Central composition

When taking pictures of planes, the empty space on each side should be equal. (both horizontally and vertically) However, sometimes it can be quite difficult to compose our subject accurately in the middle of the frame. To organize the fuselage of the aircraft at the center gives us the opportunity to crop the photo tight in post-production.

These are only a few examples to mention, and obviously, there are many more rules of composition that exist. Once we learned and tried the tricks above, it’s time to break them! Don’t let them make you frustrated, get creative, have fun and inspire yourself to try new things!