Photography Composition Rules: A Guide to Captivating Images

In the world of photography, creating stunning and captivating images is an art form.

It goes beyond just clicking a button and hoping the picture will be nice.

it's about composing an image that tells a story, evokes emotions, and leaves a lasting impression on the viewer.

For underwater photography the same rules apply .

To achieve this, understanding and applying photography composition rules is crucial.

In this article, we will explore the fundamental principles of photography composition that every aspiring underwater  photographer should know.

The Rule of Thirds

One of the most basic yet powerful composition rules in photography is the Rule of Thirds.

Imagine dividing your image into nine equal parts with two horizontal and two vertical lines.

The points where these lines intersect are where you should place the key elements of your photo.

This technique adds balance and interest to your composition.

When photographing underwater animals, place their eyes on one of the upper horizontal lines.

This draws attention to the subject's eyes and creates a natural balance within the frame.


Candy crab in Tulamben

Photography Composition Rules : Bargibanti pygmy seahorse

Symmetry and Patterns

Humans are naturally drawn to symmetry and patterns.

The people considered The most beautiful are almost always the most symmetrical ones.

Well, underwater it's the same, Photography Composition Rules apply .

Incorporating these elements into your underwater photos can create visually pleasing and harmonious compositions.

Finding Symmetry in Nature

Look for symmetrical elements in nature, such as reflections in water, perfectly aligned eyes or nudibranch rhinophores.

Subjects looking straight at the camera will also have a more "human" look and will make viewers relate more to the image.

Symmetry can add a sense of tranquility to your images and many times a WOW effect.


Breathing room

Breathing room in photography is the empty space surrounding your subject. It provides balance, context, and visual relief to your images.

Without proper breathing room, your photos can feel cluttered and chaotic, making it difficult for viewers to focus on the subject.

Creating Balance

Balancing your composition is essential when considering breathing room.

Placing your subject off-center and allowing more space on the side the subject is looking can create a harmonious and visually appealing image.


Breathing room

underwater photography in bali

Leading Lines

Leading lines are a fantastic way to guide the viewer's eyes through your photograph.

These can be actual lines or elements within your image that lead the viewer towards the main subject.

Natural Leading Lines

Nature provides us with numerous leading lines, such as crinoids, animals, and branches.

Incorporating these lines can make your photos more dynamic and visually appealing.

Depth of Field

Controlling the depth of field is essential in photography composition.

It allows you to control what's in focus and what's not, emphasizing your subject.

Creating Bokeh

To achieve a beautiful bokeh effect, use a wide aperture (small f-number) to blur the background, making your subject stand out.

The contrast between a blurry background and a sharp subject will make it pop much more.

Photography Composition Rules bokeh

Mastering photography composition rules is a journey that takes practice and creativity.

By understanding and applying these principles, you can take your photography to the next level and create images that leave a lasting impression.

But rules are meant to be broken and don't always work together.

Your creative process will require to know the rules and use them when best suited.

Come and join our underwater photo course in Amed Bali to improve your Photography Composition techniques .