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Eight invisible words

I’ve usually seen composition taught as a set of principles based on geometry or colour to describe the structure of a picture, rules of thirds, S bends, diagonals are all good but do they really answer all your questions?  I like to ask ‘why?’ and these rules might be a start but don’t take you very far.  I want to leave you with eight simple words you could consider instead.

Rather than ‘telling’ how a composition works (or doesn’t), here are some inward thinking words to invite exploration and discovery.









I’ll let you ponder them for yourself, one at a time.  Maybe you can consider these concepts as you assess your images, and images you admire.

I’ve left out ‘light’ because it’s visible.

I’m sure more could be added, ‘Story’ comes to mind but somehow I just don’t think it fits, and can be covered sufficiently by ‘essence’.

*I’m sure there’s a more fitting word than hierarchy that I can’t think of right now, this could be replaced with ‘Order of importance’.

*I’m not referring to geometrical perspective, here I’m referring to the way you fit into the image, do you feel within the image or distant & how does that affect the way you relate to it?