Be a better photographer by using composition.

When it comes to photography, tutorials, tips, and guides are pretty much everywhere. You can find them in books, lectures, videos, and classes too. Personally, I believe that the necessary time for understanding the nuts and bolts of how a picture is made in terms of exposure is almost brief in comparison to the needed time to actually master a style. So the big question here is, how can someone be able to take better photographs? Well, the answer is not what you’ll be expecting to get from an internet post. The answer is what comes with a road map, a beautiful road map that will take you years to master, but pretty much likely will never be fulfilled.

Learn to craft light into a Photograph

I’m sure that if you are slightly into photography, you have already heard about shutter speeds, apertures, and ISO settings. These all three combined play an important role in photography, because they are the three ingredients of how light is captured by our cameras. I’m going to be very brief here, but I’ll try to explain it as simple as I can.

  • Shutter Speed: This value is used to tell the camera for how long it will be open to capture light.
  • Aperture: This value tells the camera how much light will be entering through the lens and will finally be hitting the sensor inside our cameras. It also is used to control the depth of field, but it is not the main purpose of it.
  • ISO setting: This value tells the sensor how much it will be sensitive to light. Higher numbers equal higher sensibility in lower light conditions, but usually, they come with a price in some cameras, because they produce higher amounts of noise.

All this seems very difficult, but with practice, you’ll master it in this roadmap on taking better photographs.


Here comes the fun part, and the one that will make you really get better photographs. Learning about composition will enhance your vision (therefore your images) like no other tip or trick because is the primordial asset of a photograph. An image can be full of technical imperfections, but if it has that soul that only composition can give, it will end up telling a compelling and meaningful message. The other way around, you can have a perfectly exposed and sharply focused image, but if it has a lack of aesthetic, it just won’t be important.


Composition is known to be one of the most important elements in photography. For me, it is the most tangible characteristic of a picture. Composition is demanded by the readers’ eyes and the decision of the photographer crucial at this point. Photographers are responsible for choosing which elements will be fitted inside the frame in order to tell an efficient message.

Composition has been commonly associated with many rules, especially the rule of thirds which is pretty popular. I’m very thankful with Ted Forbes for sharing his vision with the world, and even though there are many tutorials that talk about this “rule”, I think this video can easily illustrate you about it.

If you want to know more about other members of the family of composition beyond the classic rule of thirds, I highly recommend you this website, which has a practical introductory theory of composition study.


Mastering composition will take you a lot of time, and if you are willing to pursue Photography as a great part of your life (Professional, therapeutical or just for the joy of it) you have to know that practice is key. The best thing you can do is to have a camera always with you, it doesn’t matter which camera, as long as it will drive you into actually taking photographs. Only with practice, you’ll be able to embed composition into your vision and forget about the technicalities, those would be easily mastered if you start to practice and understanding how light behaves.

If you love it, you’ll likely won’t be fulfilling it

Last but not least milestone of this everlasting roadmap you need to know, is that you’ll hardly be feeling fulfilled, because this is a creative process, and the hunger for creating and capturing more things in relation to your own craft and style, will always be continuous.

Remember, learning to use a tool is easy, using such tool for creating something meaningful, is the challenge. Pursue meaningful images, and embrace composition as your ultimate weapon.

Federico Alegría


Article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 2010 – 2017.

Leave a Comment