Capturing a Moment with a Picture

Photography Reverse Engineer Post

Using the design principles are not only important in graphic design but also in photography. The best of the best photographers use multiple design principles to capture their art in a way that is appealing to the viewer. The design principles that I will be showing examples of are rule of thirds, leading lines and depth of field. All of these design principles help the composition become comfortable for our eyes and give a lot of interest to the compositions.

Rule of Thirds

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Photographer: Cella Jane


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This photography by Cella Jane is a photo that includes a mother and a little girl. This photo uses the design principle of the rule of thirds. The mother’s head is positioned in the right top corner center of focus. The little girl’s body is positioned in the left bottom corner of focus. The two focuses are opposite from one another which also gives a lot of interest to the viewer.


Photographer: McKenzie Stone

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This photo is my own work and I took it for this beautiful girl’s senior pictures. I decided to use the rule of thirds in this photo to create a comfortable balance. I positioned the camera to have her eyes land on the top horizontal section. This helps the viewer use the idea of visual hierarchy when looking at this photo. They will first look at her eyes and then maybe her face, then to her hair and so forth.

Leading Lines

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Photographer: Rosie Londoner


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This photograph was taken by Roise Londoner. She used the design principle of leading lines effectively. The leading lines lead your eye to the focal point of the composition. The leading lines also help create depth and dimensionality. The lines also help keep the viewer’s eye within the composition.


Photographer: McKenzie Stone

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This photo is mine uses the concept of leading lines. The lines of the cement on ground and brick wall are all leading to the back of the photo. The lines on the right lead right to the focal point, which is the girl sitting on the ground. The leading line help the viewer what to look at first, second and etc.

Depth of Field


Photographer: Daniele Pomposiello


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This photo was taken by the photographer, Daniele Pomposielle. She mastered the design principle of depth of field. Depth of field is the area of the photo that is considered to be in focus. In this photo, the girl sitting on the floor is in focus. The flowers and metal on the side are all out of focus. This helps the viewer know what is the focal point in this photo.


Photographer: McKenzie Stone

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I took this photo of my best friend and I decided to use the depth of field to add interest to this composition. I focused on her face because that is what I want to be the focal point. You can see that some of the flowers in the front of her are out of focus which emphases the idea that she is the focus. Even the houses in the back are out of focus. This design principle is one of the easiest way to show the viewer where to look first.


This design principles are vital in many photography compositions. You don’t have to use all of the design principles in a photography but in order for it to be “consider” a good composition, it must have a few of the design principles. Also remember that these design principles aren’t the only design principles either. Using the rule of thirds, leading lines and depth of field help the viewer to know where to look when looking at the photo and it creates a feeling of comfort.


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