September 4

Composition Tip – When to Square Up (and when not to)

Composition Tip: When To Square Up (And When Not To)


When it comes to composition in photography there is so much to think about: depth of field, rule of thirds, lighting – the list goes on. Our suggestion is this: take it one step at a time. Enjoy just taking photos, and as you practice, you’ll figure out how to add in more and more compositional elements. Eventually looking for different composition opportunities will become second nature. Until then, here’s another one to try out one day!

When to Square Up:

As much as possible, squaring up on your shot is really important. You can straighten a horizon in Lightroom without too much of an issue, but changing your perspective on a photo is very challenging. Taking a shot like one of these? Make sure that your are standing right. in. the. middle. By standing slightly off-centre, you will make it look like you just couldn’t take a straight shot, so take the extra few seconds and square up.

When Not To:

One technique we talk about in our Digital I – Beginner Photography course is leading lines. These are lines in your photograph that help lead the viewers eye to a subject, or create interest. In this instance, you actually don’t want to square up. For this to work you want to be shooting down or along your line, instead of face on. You can see the difference in the two photos below. In the first instance the photo was taken squared up – the lines are nice and straight and entered. In the second instance, the photo was taken along the bridge, which adds a clear leading line to this composition. It’s important to note here that there is no clear winner in this setup. You may prefer the first photograph and your friend may prefer the second. These are just different techniques that you can use in different circumstances.




Try both and see what results you can achieve! And don’t forget that you can always try these techniques with the help of an Instructor at our Digital I – Beginner Photography Course in Mississauga, Burlington, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton  & Kelowna.



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