You are on page 1of 17

9 Photo Composition

Tips, As Seen in
Photographs by Steve
McCurry
MAR 16, 2015
MICHAE L ZHAN G

32983
Shares
33 Comments

Heres a great video on photographic composition, created by The


Cooperative of Photography using tips and photographs by
legendary photojournalist Steve McCurry. Each of the 9 composition
tips is illustrated with examples from McCurrys impressive body of
work.
Here are the 9 tips covered in the video:

1. Rule of Thirds: Place points of interest on the intersections


and important elements along the lines

2. Leading Lines: Use natural lines to lead eyes into the picture

3. Diagonals: Diagonal lines create great movement

4. Framing: Use natural frames like windows and doors

5. Figure to Ground: Find a contrast between subject and


background

6. Fill the Frame: Get close to your subjects

7. Center Dominant Eye: Place the dominant eye in the center


of the photo

8. Patterns and Repetition: Patterns are aesthetically pleasing,


but the best is when the pattern is interrupted

9. Symmetry: Symmetry is pleasing to the eye

Remember, the composition is important, but also rules are meant


to be broken, Steve McCurry says. So the main point is to enjoy
yourself while youre photographing and photograph in your own
way and your own style.
You can find more photography content over in COOPH magazine
and some neat photo gear in the COOPH online store.

Image credits: Video by COOPH, and example photographs by


Steve McCurry
TA G S :

COMPOSITION

COMPOSITIONTIPS

COOPH

EXAMPLES

I N S P I R ATIO N

LEADIN GLINES

LEARN

RULEO FTHIRDS

S TE VE MC CU R RY

TIPS

32983
Shares
33 Comments

Prev

How to Easily Correct Colors in Old Photos Using the Levels Tool in Photoshop

Next

Seeing is the Essence of Photography, And You Can Learn to Do It Better

Trending Posts

This Photo Captures Lava, Milky Way, Meteor, and Moon in a Single Shot
10588 shares
Oct 11, 2016

Adventure photographer Mike Mezeul II captured something truly


extraordinary a couple of weeks ago. While hiking around Volcanoes
National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii one night in September, he
managed to capture the moon, the milky way, a meteor, and flowing
lava in a single frame.

This Cooled Nikon D5500a Chills the Sensor for Clearer Star Photos
4154 shares
Oct 11, 2016

An Italian astrophotography company called PrismaLuceLab has


launched a modded version of the Nikon D5500 DSLR. Called the
"D5500a Cooled," the camera uses a special cooling system
mounted on the back to chill the sensor and reduce noise during
long-exposure photos.

Google Explains Why the Pixel Doesnt Have Optical Image Stabilization
232 shares
Oct 11, 2016

When Google announced its Pixel smartphone last week and


boasted about its "best smartphone camera ever," there was one
notable thing it lacked compared to the iPhone: optical image
stabilization. Instead of physically stabilizing shots, the Pixel uses
readings from the phone's built-in gyroscope to compensate for
shake.

Disneyland Used to Photoshop Out Cigarettes in Portraits of Walt Disney


713 shares
7 hours ago

Walt Disney reportedly smoked three packs a day, so how come it's
so difficult to find a photo of Walt smoking when you're walking
around Disneyland or digging through the Disney Archives? The
answer is simple: all of the cigarettes have been Photoshopped out.

Photographer Uses Drone to Shoot Harlem Building Collapse, Asked to Leave by


NYPD
1311 shares
Mar 13, 2014

My earlier article shows you what you should do with a drone and a
camera; this one will show you what you shouldn't do.

GoPro Solves Mystery of How Kid Lost His Dads $1,000 DSLR
559 shares
Oct 11, 2016

This 1-minute video was captured by a road-tripping group of friends


who stuck a GoPro out a car window while driving down a road in
Vermont. It's also a video that accidentally captures how one of the
kids lost his dad's $1,000 DSLR.

Photographs Are Made With Light, Not Sensors and Tech


17147 shares
Oct 10, 2016

Great light is what creates great images. What makes a photograph


is not the camera sensor, or the autofocus system, or the depth of
field. Photographs are made with light.

Leicas $15K Grip Camera is Covered in Ping Pong Paddle Rubber


1114 shares
11 hours ago

Leica just added a strange very limited edition camera to their M


line. It's called the Leica M-P (Typ 240) "Grip," and it's covered in the
rubber material you'd usually find on a ping pong paddle.

This Iceberg Photo Has Four Quadrants of Color and Texture


219 shares
Oct 11, 2016

Canadian fine art photographer David Burdeny created this


remarkable photo of a giant iceberg that's neatly divided into four
quadrants, each with a different look.

iPhone 7 vs Leica M9-P: A Side-by-Side Photo Comparison


40670 shares
Oct 05, 2016

How does the camera quality of Apple's latest flagship smartphone


compare to Leica's high-end digital rangefinders? Respected
Japanese street photographer Shin Noguchi decided to find out by
shooting the same scenes and then comparing them side-by-side.

Trove of Glass Negatives Found in Attic of Condemned Illinois House


762 shares
9 hours ago

Over in Peoria, Illinois, a box of nearly 200 glass negatives from the
late 1800s and early 1900s has been found in the corner of the attic
in a condemned house.

Ilford Opens Up a Photo Lab in California, Will Process Your Film by Mail
26394 shares
Aug 29, 2013

Good news isn't always easy to come by in the world of film; more
often than not, the stories we run have to do with film being
discontinued. But that's not always the case, and the most recent
news out of Ilford should give film lovers something to smile about.

Satire: I Shoot JPG


3379 shares
Oct 10, 2016

Photographer Taylor Jacksonwhose more serious videos weve


featured here and herehad to know he was stirring up trouble
when he created this satirical short video. If youre a

Humpback Whale Breaches Right in Front of Swimming Photographer


2248 shares
Oct 11, 2016

Australian photographer Beau Pilgrim got the surprise of a lifetime


recently when an adult humpback whale breached right in front of
him, landing just a couple of meters away from the swimming
photographer. Fortunately for us, he captured the incredible moment
on video.

Trippy Video Shows How a Persons Face Changes Depending on the Lighting
6050 shares
Apr 16, 2013

Want to see how much of an effect the direction and color of your
lighting has on your portrait subject's face? Check out this trippy
video by Nacho Guzman, who used a moving light and changing
colors to cause a woman's face to look like it's constantly morphing.

The Self-Five Selfie is the Webs Latest Photo Craze


294 shares
Oct 11, 2016

The latest photo trend taking over your Twitter feed this week is also
quickly rising to the top of the Internet's "Reasons I Shattered My
Smartphone Screen" list. It's been dubbed the "hands-free..." or
"self-five selfie," and it's exactly as ridiculous as it sounds.

An Ansel Adams View Camera is Being Auctioned Off for the First Time Ever
447 shares
9 hours ago

At the end of October, for the first time in history, you'll have the
chance to own one of Ansel Adams' 4x5 view cameras for yourself.
Heritage Auctions has gotten their hands on an Arca-Swiss 4x5 inch
view camera used by Ansel in the 60s, and on October 27th it goes
up on the auction block.

These Tins Are Replicas of the Vintage Leica M3 Rangefinder


142 shares
Oct 11, 2016

Check out this tin that's designed to look like the vintage Leica M3
35mm rangefinder camera. From a distance it may be mistaken for
the real thing, but the storage tin simply has the design printed flat
on the surface.

Rant: We Photographers Have Lost Our North, Stop the Endless Gear Debates
2976 shares
Oct 10, 2016

Here's the before/after shot I promised yesterday which showcases


the not-too-shabby dynamic range and noise control of the Canon
EOS 5D Mark IV. But I don't want to talk about it any longer. Instead,
I'd like to say this.

Eerie Photos of Americas Abandoned Asylums


426 shares
Oct 11, 2016

For his book and project Abandoned Asylums, Ottawa, Canada-based


photographer Matt Van der Velde took his camera into abandoned
state hospitals, asylums, and psychiatric facilities across the United
States.