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Donald Leon Farrow on the Basics of Photo Composition

Donald Leon Farrow on the Basics of Photo Composition

Donald Leon Farrow is a freelance photographer, having perfected the craft over many years. As a nurse anesthetist of the greatest detail, he applies a practical approach to photography, with a full understanding of composition, lighting, and creative design.

This approach has given Donald Leon Farrow the ability to take great pictures. But while lighting and mechanics are the technical side of photography, composition and subject matter make up the creative part. Donald Leon Farrow has developed a few composition ideas for photographers to consider:

  • Follow the rule of thirds. According to Donald Leon Farrow, one of the first things taught in most photography classes is to divide the screen using three vertical lines and three horizontal lines. Your image should fall into one of these three sections, Donald Leon Farrow advises, choosing either to center your subject or deliberately place it to the left or right of the screen.
  • Keep it clean. Donald Leon Farrow has found that generally you have one intended subject. Focus on that and remove anything that takes away from that and Donald Leon Farrow says you’ll have a clean, eye-catching image.
  • Crop your subject appropriately. In addition to setting up your subject in the correct area of the frame, Donald Leon Farrow says that a subject should be cut off at a place that makes sense. The major cropping points, Donald Leon Farrow relays, are the bust, waist, or full body. Be careful not to crop someone mid-thigh or at the wrists.
  • Allow proper headroom. A little bit of mathematics are involved in setting up headroom for a shot. As Donald Leon Farrow describes, headroom is the space between the top of your subject’s head and the top of the frame. The headroom should be proportionate with the length of the shot, according to Donald Leon Farrow. While it may seem complicated, it’s something that becomes natural with practice, Donald Leon Farrow has found.
  • Break the rules. Once you’ve learned the rules, Donald Leon Farrow believes you can learn to artfully break them. Part of creative photography is thinking of new ways to set up a shot. It’s important to do so in a way that looks deliberate, Donald Leon Farrow states, rather than due to lack of skill.

Donald Leon Farrow has found that the best way to learn photo composition is to practice. This can best be done through a photography class, but it can also be mastered through studying professional photos and noting how shots are set up.

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