Week Two – Composition

Hi Class!

This past week we went over the basics of taking pictures with the VSCO camera — Exposure & Focus Points, and we started talking about making your pictures more interesting by playing with “angles” and keeping your pictures “simple”.

Those tips have to do with COMPOSITION.

What is “composition”?

Well just like in writing an essay or a musical piece — you are “composing” your picture. You are the one directing what will be in the picture. You are showing the viewer what you want them to see. While you usually take pictures of what you want to see or what you want others to see, HOW you fit the subject in the frame makes a big difference on how your picture looks and what will come across to the viewer.

Thoughts to think while shooting pictures:

– Do I like this? Does this make me happy or excited?

– You are the director — You are in control of what the camera sees — plan the shot, tell a story.

– If you were drawing this picture, what would you put in or leave out?

– Eliminate distractions — will anything be distracting to the viewer?


Slide056-590x443 rule-of-thirds-grid rule-of-thirds-movement

What is the Rule of Thirds?

The basic principle behind the rule of thirds is to imagine breaking an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have 9 parts. This will make your photos more balanced and appealing to the eye. Your eyes are naturally drawn to these “points” in an image, so use the VSCO grid feature (we tried this in class), or you can try to imagine the grid and take pictures that way.

rule of thirds


Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset
Pillar outside of my church. I tilted the camera to get some diagonal lines.

Photo_composition_tips_6 diagonal-1


I visited my brother at LMU and walked through their empty chapel to take pictures. This was a big pillar with the afternoon sun shining through the stained class — making this rainbow cast over the white pillar.
I went to a circus and they had us hold these feathers. I held it up so that I could use the light above us to create this backlit picture.

HAVE FUN !!! Use your new composition skills to look at things differently. I took the picture below at my church while standing under some stairs. The stairs, the ceiling, and the ceramic installation on the right kind of looked like a collage to me. 🙂

Processed with VSCOcam with x1 preset


1. Take lots of pictures.

2. Email me 3-5 of your best/favorite pictures


3. Download ClearCam app if you’d like ($0.99)

It give your pictures a higher resolution (view them bigger without getting so pixelated).

We will be reviewing composition and talk about how to edit your pictures. I will be showing you some awesome photographers and we will take pictures together and see how you’re composition skills have improved. 🙂

Here’s a link that explains some of the editing tools in VSCO cam: 



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