Enhancing Composition Using Balance in Photography

One of the ways to make your photos appealing, is using different subjects in the frame that bring a balance in your photo. This composition technique helps in achieving an equal visual weight – different parts of the picture command the viewer’s attention in equal measure.

We’ve explained Composition techniques like Rule of Thirds, Centred Composition, Leading Lines, Fill the Frame, Pattern & Texture, Rule of Odds, Colour Theory, Frame within a Frame, Simplicity & Minimalism, Rule of Space, Left to Right Rule, Isolate the Subject, Negative Space, Foreground Composition, Panning and Change your Point of View in our previous blogs. Now, let’s understand Balance in Photography!


How to Create Perfectly Balanced & Visually Appealing Photographs

Frame two subjects of same/different sizes on opposite sides of the image

You can frame two or more subjects of same/ different sizes to compose a balanced image. Remember, that it is not essential that subjects framed in the pic to bring balance, have to be of the same size. What matters is that, they are placed on the opposite sides of the frame.

Below is the image of Goddess Ganga & Lord Shiva taken at River Ganga -Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Balance in Photography 

Here, the huge statue of Goddess Ganga – on the left side of the image – complements the small statue of Lord Shiva – on the right side of the image. Without having the small statue of Lord Shiva in the frame, the right side of the picture would look empty & unappealing.

Go for Centred Composition over Rule of Thirds

Below is the Stone Pyramid shot at the Ganges River- Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Balance Composition

The pic evokes a feeling of balance & tranquillity, isn’t it? Well, the image was composed placing the Stone Pyramid at the centre of the image; if the Stone Pyramid was framed either on the left side or right side of the image – it would have made that respective side of the image heavier, failing to create a sense of balance.

Use Foreground Composition

Take a look at the below image of Tera Manzil Temple (Trayambakeshwar Temple) near Lakshman Jhula at Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Balance visual weight photography

You will notice that the Temple – on the right side of the image – is counterbalanced by the Rocks – on the left side of the image. If the photo was captured from a different angle without framing the rocks at the foreground or left side of the image, it would have created an empty space on the left side of the image.

Here’s another example where the Cascading Waterfall (Elephant Falls at Meghalaya) is balanced by the Moving Boat at the Foreground

Balance in DSLR Photography

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Balance, with the help of practical examples.

Balance Composition in Photography DSLR

rule of thirds

What is Rule of Thirds in Photography Composition

One of the Secrets to a Great Photograph is a Good Composition. The way in which the different elements in a scene are arranged within the frame is known as Composition. There are many rules or rather guidelines that can help you create attractive images. Let’s begin with the first one – Rule of Thirds.

What is Rule of Thirds

An off-centre composition, Rule of Thirds is dividing the frame/scene into 9 equal parts; two horizontal lines (breaking the scene into thirds horizontally) and two vertical lines (breaking the scene into thirds vertically). These four lines create four intersection points.

The idea here is to place your main subject/ points of interest on the intersection points. Since the subject is not placed in the centre of the scene, it also gives the viewer a glimpse into the subject’s environment – making the photograph more appealing!

Rule of Thirds in Photography

How to Use Rule of Thirds to Improve your Composition

rule of thirds

Most of the recent DSLR Cameras have the Grid option. Check the menu in your DSLR and if you have the Display Grid option, enable it. Now, capture your image using Live View Mode. You will be able to see the grid lines over the scene you are about to photograph in real-time on your LCD screen.

These grid lines divide the frame horizontally and vertically into 9 equal parts and create four intersection points. You can capture a strong image using Rule of Thirds Composition by placing your main subject on the intersection point.

Rule of Thirds Examples

rule of thirds in photography


In the above pic taken at Guru Sakya Monastery, Darjeeling – Rule of Thirds Composition was used. The Snow Lion was placed on the intersection points to create an off-centre composition and to give the viewer a new/different perspective of the monastery.

To improve your photography skills, when taking pictures with your DSLR/smartphone, try to photograph a place/monument/subject from different angles.

For instance, instead of capturing the whole monastery structure from the front, this shot was taken from a different angle that focuses on the Snow Lion which makes it an eye-catching image. In Buddhism, the Snow Lion is believed to be the protector of the Buddha; it symbolizes the strength and bravery of those with perfect wisdom and compassion.

What if – you didn’t use Rule of Thirds while taking the picture? How do you apply Rule of Thirds in Post-Processing?

Well, you can edit, crop and apply Rule of Thirds to your image in post-processing software like Lightroom. In Lightroom, you can place the Rule of Thirds Grid over your image while cropping it. And create a photograph that depicts Rule of Thirds Composition.

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

To understand Rule of Thirds, Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Rule of Thirds Composition with the help of practical examples.

Rule of thirds

When you do photography: Remember the 5E’s – Explore, Experiment, Experience, Enjoy & Express to develop your own style as a photographer.

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