6 Design Principles In Photography

This is a guest post by Carol James.

A long time ago, a human tried to portray the best moments of his/her life in some way. This effort has led to the emergence of such art as photography. Since the first photo was made, this occupation became a favorite for millions of people. When you took the camera into your hands for the first time and felt it was your calling since then you had an insurmountable desire to look at the surrounding world through the camera lens.

The ability to take pictures is not only a process that brings the photographer’s satisfaction but despite everything, you can always give the opportunity to admire your achievements, show them to other people, analyze your work and detect mistakes.

We should mention that photography is true art with its intricacies and secrets as well. It can be put together with such kinds of art as music and painting, but sometimes it’s not enough just to make a picture. You need to know more secrets to be great at photography. And one of the main principles is a design.

Design (idea, plan, project, sketch, composition) – is the process of artistic and technical projecting of products or their complexes. It’s is also called the result of this projecting. A designer is a person who creates a design.

Principles of it are the main rules and laws that are the basis for the formation of a harmonious, perfect form of the photo. These include the relevance of content, integrity, unity of content and form.

The basic principles of design are suitable for the web and to any other type. They show how to combine elements together in an effective way; the design is more than just HTML tags on a page. Using these principles will help you create more enjoyable and useful projects.

Examples of Design Principles in Photography

To create an effective and harmonious photo, you need to choose the right color for it. The main color for a photo is the background color of most slides. It will create the general mood of the viewer. During choosing the main color, you need to take into account the so-called psychological characteristics of colors. It expresses the influence of colors on the mental state of a person. This influence may vary depending on age, social status, and human mood. We want to introduce the next principles in photography:

1. Balance

Balance is a visual explanation of the weight in design. Large dense elements seem to be heavy, and smaller ones seem to be lighter. You can balance design in three ways:

— symmetric balance;
— asymmetric balance;
— imbalance.

Placing elements on a page determines how balanced it looks.


2. Contrast

When people start to think about contrast, the first thing that comes to mind is black and white. But the contrast is not only in colors. Contrast can be in figures (circle, square), sizes (large, small), textures (smooth and rough), etc.

By introducing a contrast to the design, think out of color; do not forget that it can be easily exaggerated by it.

3. Accents

The accent is the place that attracts attention in design. It’s hard to resist the temptation to emphasize everything in the design, or to make the same emphasis on each element, but it only leads to boring and flat design. The designer should define the page hierarchy, and then apply accents depending on this hierarchy.

4. Rhythm

Rhythm is often called as repetitions; rhythm adds to your design the internal logic, easier perception. If the human brain recognizes a recurring pattern, it relaxes, and the whole design becomes clear to him. Repetitions rarely occur without reason; they usually make an order in design. They attract users and promote their comfort on the site.

5. Composition in Photography

The composition is the “language” of communication between the artist and the viewer. The photographer can control the mood of the viewer, draw his attention to important objects in the image plane, hide the “secondary elements.” There are a lot of rules of composition, but we want to pay your attention to three the most important rules of composition in photography:

— The golden section is the division of the segment C, in which the whole segment C is so related to the greater part of B, as the greater part of B is related to the smaller A. The formula for this expression is: C: B = B: A = 1.618;

— The format rule is the second composition rule. You shoot a tall tree or a man in full growth – turn the camera upright and make perfect landscape photography;


— The rule of equilibrium is the third rule of composition. The photo should be balanced with the stains and meanings. If a lot of sense is concentrated in one small part of the photo, you need to find something else in a sense and place it in the opposite part of the frame in order to balance the plot. Only after that, you’ll have art photography.

6. Unity

Unity is called affinity as well. This is the principle of grouping such elements together, and different — separately. Unity compiles elements together.

About the Author: Carol James is a writer and senior editor at writing service, so you can order custom essay outline from EssayLab. She has MA degree in social sciences and writes articles, reviews on the different actual subjects. So, if you have any questions regarding the writing, feel free to ask her.

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17 thoughts on “6 Design Principles In Photography

  1. I beg your pardon. People often react to words in a very subjective way. The latter stands true also to authors of interesting theories, which often have meaning only to the author herself. I have read the post with interest, but I have struggled to associate each point to a practical meaning. In detail, I think the “golden section” part of item 5, to be fully grabbed, needs at least some graphics. Photographers amateur and pro may also be interested in viewing an old video by Steve McCurry, which is also an excellent example of how to make some complex material easy to understand. https://petapixel.com/2015/03/16/9-photo-composition-tips-as-seen-in-photographs-by-steve-mccurry/


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