Steve Mccurry | Composition Rules | Street Photography

When we talk about the subject of street photography ,one of the photographer that come in our mind is of course Mr. Steve Mccurry. Mr. Mccurry has spent his lifetime exploring this subject & providing a number of stories to the world . He is been a great inspiration for out team since the beginning & always be having a great significance over us regarding this subject. The most famous composition rules that are provided by Mr. Mccurry are been a set of ground rules that should be examined by any street photographer to start of his/her journey in the field. We will be sharing all the 9 rules of composition along with suitable examples.




1. Rule of Thirds :


Also known as the Rule of thumb , this technique states that divide the photograph into nine equal parts by using two horizontal & two vertical lines (which are a default setting in today's digital cameras) & placing the subject on the intersections rather than placing them in the center. Placing the subject on the intersection points will creates, tension , energy & interest in the composition. As you can see in the image below the photographer has placed the subject in the bottom right intersection of the image creating a more attractive image .




2. Leading Lines :


Leading lines is a great concept used in photography & can be a great technique while shooting on the streets. This techniques states to use the natural lines , vertical , horizontal , diagonals that lead to the subject in your frame. As in the image below where the leading line takes you to the fisherman in the top of the frame. Creating such image can be a great storytelling in itself.




3. Diagonals :


Diagonal lines creates movement in a frame. This is also a great technique to draw attention towards the photograph. Diagonals can be used in streets to show movement , action & leads towards the subject . The photograph below shows the diagonal lines leading towards the subject , the lines shows a movement in the frame & that can be a great frame setting in the streets.





4. Framing :


Framing is a great technique that can be used on streets , capturing frames such as windows & doors , or anything which can give a depth to the image. It gives another dimension to the photograph & leads the viewer towards the attention of the frame. As the image below you can see how the photographer has used the bridge poles to create a frame & gave a depth to the image.





5. Figure to Ground :


This technique suggests that there should be a contrast in between the subject & the background of the image. The attention towards the subject will increase when the background will be in a contract. The photograph below shows that the subject & background are in the same light but how the subject is darker & thus creating a contrast with the background.





6. Fill the frame :


This technique depends on what the photographer is trying to capture. Filling the frame means to get close to the subject & try to fill the frame just with the subject , nothing else has to be in the frame giving full attention to the subject. In streets this technique will work on capturing the portraits as shown in the image below.





7. Center dominant Eye :


In this technique you have to place the dominant eyes of the portrait in the center of the frame , by doing so it make the image feel like the subject is following us in real . The image below shows how the placement of the dominant eyes could be done.





8. Patterns & Repetition:


Patterns are aesthetically pleasing in a frame but more pleasing in how we break it by using a subject. This technique states to capture similar patterns in a frame , that gives it a minimal touch & by breaking the patterns it gives more focus to the subject i the image. The below examples are the pattern breaking images.






9. Symmetry :


This technique can be used on streets very well while capturing portraits as well as a wide angle shot. In portraits it can be used to symmetrically divide the frame & make it look perfectly framed & in a wide angle shot it can show two different stories in either side of the frame when divided from the middle. The image below shows the two sides of the image by placing the main subject in the middle of the frame.





These were all the nine composition rules by Steve Mccurry. Everyone has a different style of photography & no matter how the photograph is being clicked if the photographer like it it is the best for him/her. These rules are just to improve your framing of the images while you capture your own style of photographs on the streets.


We hope this article will help you in capturing more great stories through your cameras. If you like the article do share it with your friends on social media & follow us on our social media platforms too.

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