Fundamentals of Photography: Achieving Balance and Structure - Lesson Two


Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

Achieving Balance and Structure


Lesson Skill Level - All Skills
Gear required - Camera

In this lesson we will be going over the Visual Structure of your image and using the different elements to create Balance to your photograph.

If you are a beginner photographer and haven't checked out the previous Fundamentals of Composition - Photography Lesson, I would highly recommend starting there. I am hoping to teach some of the basic elements of photography to give people the tools needed to improve their photographic skills, or at least learn a few things with these posts.



Balance refers to the feeling of visual importance, or weight, of various elements within an image.

The things that give visual elements weight are its tone, shape, size, psychological importance, and placement in the frame.


Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

When the exact same visual elements appear in both halves of a photograph in mirror image it is called Symmetry.


Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

Asymmetrical balance is when an image has different visual information but balance is achieved through selective subject placement.

Subject Placement


There is a very strong for most people tendency to place the main subject in the center of the frame.

Most of the time this leads to bad composition

The Rule of Thirds is a good starting point for subject placement. If you divide your frame into three sections both horizontally and vertically (like tic-tac-toe), Placement of the subject close to the lines usually will produce good results for subject placement.


Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

Placing a subject on one of the lines or intersecting points of lines will usually give a good subject balance.


Placing a subject where the on the bottom or top third will also usually give a good subject balance.

Balancing important elements

Giving the same space between the frame and two or more important elements will help to give balance.

Small changes in camera position will change the relationship of all the subject matter in the frame. Try moving the camera position up, down and side to side to find the best composition for the subject matter.

Fundamentals in Action



Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

In this image, I chose to have the child's eye in one of the intersecting third lines. Placing eyes along the horizontal third lines is usually a safe bet for portrait shots. Since the child was facing to the left, I made sure to position her in the frame so that there was enough negative space to balance out the frame in the direction that she was looking. If I had place her more to the left and "short sided" the frame, the image would have come out awkward looking.


Photo taken by me @derangedvisions

This is the same image, but with a different crop. I purposefully changed the crop and moved everything off of the third lines to show how doing so disrupts the balance and you lose the structure of the photograph. This image is not nearly as pleasing to look at as the properly cropped version.

Now for some fun


Now for the fun part. If you want, you can go out and shoot 1 Symmetrical and 1 Asymmetrical image. Make a post and explain why you chose the subject matter you did and how you went about shooting the images and applied the different principles from this lesson and the previous lesson. Create your post in the Photography Lovers Community and drop the link to your post in the comment section of this post for a chance of curation. My goal is to help spread some knowledge about the art of photography and help make this platform a more beautiful place.

I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Thank you for taking the time to check out this lesson. I hope that you learned something new.

All rewards for this post will be sent to @null

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