Elements of Design, Depth of Field, and Composing a Photograph

  • the placement of forms in the photograph

There are several types of compositions. The following are some popular types:
  • s-curve
  • diagonal
  • horizontal
  • vertical
  • radial
  • repetition of elements
  • triangular

Elements of Design
  • Line, Perspective, Form, Texture, Light(contrast/value), Motion

These are visual tools to help design your photograph. They are used to create a mood, direct the center of interest and/or add impact or emphasis within your photograph.

Contrast of Values
High, Low and Medium contrast in photography most often refers to the range of grays, blacks and whites in the photo. High contrast photos have predominately blacks and whites, while low contrast photos have a close range of similar grays. Medium contrast photos include blacks and whites and lots of middle grays.

Clarity of Image
Traditional photography often aims for the optimum clarity of the image. Clarity of the image also refers to the use of the appropriate depth of field and contrast between foregrounds and background; appropriate tightness of grain in an image and whether or not the picture has the most appropriate focus for the image’s context and/or center of interest.

Depth of Field
  • the range of distance that will be in focus
  • the visual depth in the picture’s plane...in a photo with a shallow depth of field, the viewer will only be able to see a short distance into the picture; in a photo with a deep depth of field the viewer will be able to see a very long distance into the picture.
  • the depth of field is controlled by the aperture/f-stop on your camera...the larger the opening, the shallower the depth; the smaller the opening, the deeper the depth.