Who Said Photography
What is balance in photography
Down Arrow

What is Balance in Photography? Tips for Creating Compositional Harmony

Learning to take well-balanced photographs may seem challenging at first, but this ability is crucial. When you strike a good balance between composition, lighting, and colour in your photographs, even the most mundane subjects become interesting.

When you master the art of balancing the photo composition, you’ll be able to take pictures that will make your audience gasp in astonishment. Your images will look better and express your message more effectively if you take the time to ensure they are well-balanced. Finding the sweet spot is essential producing photographs that really connect with people on an emotional level. Take your photography to the next level simply by studying the fundamentals of how to achieve flawless balanced compositions in every shot.

Table of Contents

What is balance in photography?

When taking photographs, it is important to ensure that the subject is distributed evenly over the frame. This is accomplished by repositioning the camera and putting together unexpected elements inside the frame. Insuring that all the shapes, colours, and tones in the scene have the same visual impact. When all of an image’s focal points are interesting in their own right, the photo is balanced.

The term “balance” refers to a method of composition in which all parts of the picture are of about equal importance. How much attention a design feature commands may be gauged, courtesy to the “visual weight” it has. Multiple elements, including contrast, colour, size, closeness, positioning, and texture, play a role in this.

Balancing the visual weight of an object may be utilized as an effective technique to pinpoint the image’s focal point. However, it is a two-edged sword since it may either improve or ruin your photo. Think of your camera’s frame as a standard measuring device to better grasp the concept of balance in photography. It’s important to balance the visual weight of the left and right sides of your picture for a pleasing final product. Balance is a key aspect of photography that can greatly impact the overall visual appeal of an image. Whether it’s a still life, landscape, portrait, or any other genre, balance helps to create a sense of harmony and stability in the frame.

Benefits of creating balanced photos

Purchase Skylum Luminar Neo

1. Increased Aesthetic Appeal

You might be tempted to include a number of objects randomly in your pictures if you’re just beginning to learn about balance. However, doing so is likely to produce poor quality photos. When you master the art of balancing, you create pleasing photos for the viewers. If you want your images to be better, learn how to balance them, so they look their best in the confines of the frame. Some techniques for doing so include making use of the sun, choosing an interesting subject, and using colour theory.

2. Improved Readability and story telling

You may worry that the originality and freedom that brought you to photography will be taken away as you try to balance your compositions. However, if you take the time to ensure that your shots are well-balanced, you’ll create photos that are easy to interpret, but also attractive. The “reader-friendly effect,” as it is often known, simply implies that your photos will be simple for your audience to interpret. In other words, the story you are telling with your photos will be immediately clear to your viewer.

3. Enhanced Impact

As you may have guessed from the previous section, having a sense of balance is an essential step in taking good pictures. But what does it imply, exactly? Making your photos visually appealing will increase their effectiveness. This will make your photos more interesting to the viewer and also increase their emotional effect.

The emotional impact of a picture increases when the viewer is immersed in the subject and can relate to the story or message. Perhaps this emotion was present when you captured the photo. You may have noticed that certain photos of other photographers resonate with you more strongly than others

Example of balance in photography and colour

4. Improved Composition

You may feel that you need to add a lot of unnecessary features to your images when you first start learning how to balance your pictures. You may do this by carefully curating your picture compositions and making strategic use of negative space and other compositional colour techniques.

Balance is a key aspect of good composition, and can help to create a more visually appealing image by arranging elements in a way that is harmonious and pleasing to the eye.

5. Increased Appeal to Viewers

When you are able to balance the elements of composition in your photographs, it can help you to create photographs that are aesthetically pleasing and have greater appeal to viewers. Selecting the proper pieces for your pictures and positioning them in an aesthetically pleasing manner helps the viewer to interact with your images in a more meaningful way. In other words, it may aid in making people empathize with the tale you’re telling. When taking pictures of individuals, whether for a portrait or otherwise, this may be a huge assistance. It may help you make images that will do better in art galleries and other photography contests, and it can help your viewers feel a connection to the individuals in your photographs. You may make your images more engaging by striking a balance between the various components of composition.

6. Creates a sense of harmony and stability

By arranging elements in a balanced manner, the image creates a sense of visual harmony and stability. This can be particularly important in architectural and interior photography, where a sense of structure and order is desired.

Ways to create compositionally balanced photos with and without symmetry

example of rule of thirds in balance in photography

1. Take advantage of the rule of thirds

Using the “rule of thirds” to create visually pleasing compositions in your photographs is a quick and easy technique. It’s a rule of thumb that says you should put the most important parts of your pictures near the points where two sets of parallel lines — one horizontal and one vertical — meet. It’s not hard to picture these lines, since they result from splitting your image into nine equal halves. The most important parts of your images should be positioned close to these lines. Although this rule of thumb shines when capturing individuals, it may be put to use with almost any subject. The rule of thirds is a useful tool for achieving compositional balance in still photography. You may utilize the rule of thirds to create visual harmony in any kind of photo. In portraiture, it comes in handy for making sure the subject’s eyes are looking in the general direction of one of the crossings. When photographing landscapes, you may use it to make sure the horizon is level by lining up the frame with one of the corners. If you take pictures using the “rule of thirds,” you know they’ll be aesthetically beautiful and well-balanced.

2. Study how other artists create balance

When you’re just starting out, it might be instructive to see how other artists handle compositional balance in their own work. You may learn a lot about how to achieve harmony in your own photography by looking at the work of other artists. Finding examples of artwork that you enjoy or that is similar to the style of picture you want to make is a simple approach to get started. For example, if you’re interested in street photography but not landscapes, you may learn from photographers who specialize in those genres. You may learn a lot about how to strike a balance in your own work by looking at the work of other artists. Look at the piece and attempt to figure out how the artist achieved harmony in the photo. Another option is to keep an art diary where you may record your reactions to and reflections on various images. Keeping an art diary is a wonderful method to document your ideas and feelings about many forms of visual art, such as photography.

3. Play with photography colour, brightness, and saturation

A sort of asymmetrical balance, “colour balance” pairs complementary hues with one another, such as a bright one with a more subdued one. Too much of one hue may make a picture seem imbalanced, and vice versa for pastel or subdued tones. Maintaining harmony between colours is as simple as setting off a tiny area of vibrant colour next to a bigger area of white or black.

Balance may be achieved by the use of contrasting elements, such as size (combining big and little items), texture, and quantity. Objects having a high visual weight (such as those in the vertical or diagonal positions) may be countered by those with a lower weight (such as those in the horizontal positions) via the use of orientation.

4. Focus on a single element in the frame

Next, in the same line as pictures that are subject off-centre, is the compositional technique of using informal or uneven balance. Like formal balance, informal balance calls for a distribution of visual weight throughout the frame. The difference between formal and informal balance is that the latter does not include reflections or mirror images. The theoretical explanation of asymmetrical balancing hints that it may be quite comparable to shooting an off-center snapshot. The use of strategic and well-considered subject placement, however, may help bring about a sense of unofficial balance.

5. Take advantage of natural balance elements like grids and circles

Photos with regular shapes like squares or circles tend to be well-balanced by default. These sorts of photos are perfect for amateur photographers since the grid or circular components are employed to establish balance within the picture. Using a grid and a circle to create visual harmony may seem illogical, yet they may be very useful tools. The addition of a grid or circle to a picture is a simple way to draw attention to the desired subject and improve composition. When dealing with portraiture, this is extremely helpful. The placement of the viewer’s gaze may be determined by first making a grid in Photoshop post-processing or by using a ruler to mark out a grid. It’s worth noting that if you’re trying to take a close-up portrait, this won’t work. When the primary subject is more than two feet away from the camera, a grid or a circle might help organize the picture.

example of balance in photography.

6. Try shooting from an unconventional perspective

Taking a nontraditional approach to photography works great to achieve a sense of balance in your photographs. You may make your photographs stand out from the crowd by trying out new shooting positions and viewpoints. Try photographing from other angles, such as below or above the subject. Another option is to take pictures at an oblique angle. Though risky, attempting novel viewpoints may provide huge dividends if executed well. If you want to get a unique shot that draws attention to your subject and yet has a sense of balance, try shooting from an unusual angle. If your backdrop is very chaotic, this is a must-have. By photographing from an uncommon viewpoint, you may bring the attention to your subject and produce a balanced picture that is visually beautiful.

7. Create a balance between the calm and the chaotic

By striking a balance between the serene and the chaotic, you may give your photographs a sense of harmony. This may be achieved by making deliberate decisions about the placement of your focus points, the kinds of objects you utilize, and the lighting in your photographs. For example, you may try creating a peaceful backdrop while placing a more chaotic topic in the centre of the frame. Try out various combinations of light sources in your photographic explorations. For example, you may use a combination of natural daylight and fluorescent lighting to produce a balanced picture that is both tranquil and chaotic at the same time. You may make a shot that is both aesthetically appealing and effective in capturing the viewer’s attention by giving careful consideration to the placement of each element within the frame.

8. Experiment with different types of symmetry

A composition is considered to be symmetrical if the visual weight given to elements on each side of a Centre axis is the same. Imagine a collection of immaculate mirror images standing in a circle, all facing the Centre. There is a sense of gentle comfort and tranquility in this symphony. It has a high level of aesthetic value but is otherwise unremarkable.

An informal kind of balancing known as asymmetrical balance is produced by off-centering the subject of the photograph. This is a common assignment in photography classes, and the concept of asymmetrical balance is fundamental to a variety of different methods of finding a happy medium. Asymmetrical balance is a more advanced method of photography composition that involves balancing the main subject with an unrelated element or elements. Utilizing negative space, or the region surrounding the subject, may also help create a sense of asymmetry.

9. Add extra photos to the collage

Making a picture collage is another good strategy for giving your images a well-rounded appearance. This method is perfect for photographers who want their picture sets to have a unified aesthetic. Choose the photos you want to include in your collage. Images with the same subject or comparable compositions may serve this purpose. Afterwards, you may organize the pictures in a way that’s easy on the eyes and creates harmony. Larger photographs may be positioned towards the bottom of the collage, or they can be centred. Photoshop also allows you to make a collage out of your pictures. For this reason, you can select the pictures to be included in the collage in advance and arrange them in the order that best fits your needs. If you want to show off several photos but don’t want to construct a massive, crowded picture wall, a photo collage is the way to go.

Frequently Asked Questions

Generally speaking, a well-balanced photograph will enable the viewer’s gaze to move around the whole picture without settling on any one part for too long.

The term “balance” refers to a method of composition in which all parts of the picture are of about equal importance. How much attention a design feature commands may be gauged by how much “visual weight” it has.

No element in a picture should be distracting or out of place if it is to be considered a work of perfect unity or harmony.

When the eye is drawn around the frame in an even manner, the picture is said to be balanced. When objects, colours, or sides of a picture are visually equal, this occurs.

Our Latest Blogs