Let's start with an image:
The light is not good and hence this image is not that great. Nevertheless, what lessons can we learn about composition? When we get to this scene the first thing that drew my attention was the mountain peak and the color of the trees beneath it. So that is our starting point. We now start walking around looking for something in the foreground to put with it, to create interest, depth, and balance. The Virgin river is obviously a strong candidate to be my foreground interest but it could also be something else.
So I went with the river. Now that we have our foreground we walk around a bit more to place the objects where we want them. By walk around we can change the placement of objects in relation to each other. The mountain peak is placed where the top third line and left third line intersect because this is a strong compositional place. If you don't know what these third lines refer to, please search my blogs for the "rule of thirds."
I now walk, watching how the river in relation to the mountain peak changes position until the curve in the river points to the mountain peak. We also move further away or closer to the river so that everything harmoniously work together. Notice the curved line in the bottom right corner as it too curves towards the mountain peak. This creates balance. The river is a lead-in line that creates depth and interest.
Make sure that everything in your images work together to create interest, depth, and balance.
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