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Beyond Reality: Photographic Composition as a Gateway to the Imaginary


Photographic Composition
Photo by Roberta Guido

Imagine an image that seems to be taken from the deepest dreams - a photograph that, for some reason, mesmerizes and holds the eye. Have you ever wondered why some photographs are able to arouse so much emotion and interest, while others go unnoticed? The answer may lie in photographic composition - the magical art of arranging elements within the frame to create images that deeply impact us.


Photographic Composition
Photo by Guilherme Bastian

Photographic composition is much more than a technique; it is a visual language that allows us to tell stories through images. It is present everywhere, from advertising to the arts, in magazines and books, in movies and on social media. It's the ability to record moments, scenes and landscapes with an approach that transcends simply clicking what's in front of us.


Photographic Composition
Photo by Edu Liotti

When the construction of the scene is executed with mastery, it becomes indisputably visible and is considered perfect. The clarity, harmony and balance between the elements create a seductive aesthetic that attracts our gaze and holds it captive. We can find this perfection contemplating a sunset perfectly framed by trees, whose silhouettes dance in contrast to the orange sky. In those moments, nature becomes the greatest artist, using composition to tell its own beauty story. But the composition is not limited to what nature offers our eyes, as our perspective when not in a frame is very wide.


Photographic Composition
Photo by Konstantin Gribov

To build a visual composition within the scene, it is necessary to consider a set of elements that, when used with skill, have the power to create narratives and evoke emotions. The most important elements in photographic composition are point of view, lines, colors and balance. Each plays a key role in building the image and how it will be perceived by the viewer.


Photographic Composition
Photo by Aline Lelles

Point of view is how the photographer chooses to see the world through their lens. A unique angle can transform an ordinary scene into a fascinating and original composition. For example, a photo taken from a lower ground can make a subject appear more powerful or imposing, while a higher angle can convey vulnerability.



The lines are like visual paths that guide the viewer's gaze through the image. Straight lines can bring stability and order, while diagonal lines can convey movement and dynamism. Colors, on the other hand, have the power to evoke emotions and create atmospheres. Vibrant colors can convey energy and joy, while muted tones can bring calm and serenity.

Balance is the harmonious distribution of elements within the photograph. A symmetrical balance can create a sense of calm and completeness, while an asymmetrical balance can bring dynamism and visual interest.


Photographic Composition
Photo by Jose Carlos Barbo

A classic example of the masterful use of these elements is found in Leonardo da Vinci's painting "Mona Lisa". The composition is carefully planned, with skyline and horizon lines merging into the background and directing our gaze towards Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile. Neutral colors and the perfect balance of elements create an image that has delighted and intrigued for centuries.


Photographic Composition
Photo by Jean-Pierre Muller

Like a well-composed symphony, where every note fits perfectly to create a musical masterpiece, photographic composition is a choreography of elements that come together to tell powerful stories and evoke intense emotions. It's the ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary and portray the beauty that surrounds us.



The art of placing elements in the scene is a powerful resource that gives photographers the power to create images that transcend the simple act of recording the world. It is an invitation to see the world from a new perspective, to appreciate the beauty in the little things and to tell stories that reverberate in the viewer.


So the next time you pick up your camera, remember this imaging powerhouse and let it guide you through the art of photography.


Photographic Composition
Photo by Roberta Guido

Written by Angela Rosana, learn more about me here.< /span>


Credits to the photographers appear on the images, with links to their Instagram profiles.


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Published on Instagram on 07/25/2023

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