How to Use Balance in Photography Composition

Balance in Photography Composition

Balance is the principle of equilibrium or harmony. When looking at a composition, balance can be achieved by placing objects of equal importance close to each other. Alternatively, you can use a visual metaphor to create balance in a photograph, which allows you to add variety and movement to a static subject.

Photographers tend to use different approaches, but you can use many of these ideas in your own photography.

Create visual interest

Balance can be created using visual metaphors, such as symmetry or balance, and contrast. It can also be used to add movement and interest to a still image, and you may wish to use this method when you shoot a moving subject, such as a car or boat.

To add variety to a composition, you can vary the scale of objects or introduce contrasting colors. You can achieve visual balance with a single object, which tends to appear more balanced than several similar objects. A symmetrical composition is particularly appealing, as it is balanced by the subject’s shape. It may be difficult to achieve balance in a square shape, as it doesn’t have an obvious axis of symmetry.

Use visual balance


Symmetrical shapes include squares, circles, and triangles. As a rule, a symmetrical shape is balanced by its opposite, and is therefore a good starting point when creating a visually pleasing composition. If you find it difficult to create symmetry in a square shape, try a circle, triangle or square that is off-center.


To create visual balance, you can introduce a subject that contrasts with the background, or add a secondary subject that is larger than the main subject. The best way to create visual balance is to place similar subjects close together, as this creates a feeling of stability. For example, a tree, a bush, or a building, could be placed side by side with a similar object in the background. This would balance the tree’s size against the background.

Visual balance can be achieved by using a range of colors, textures, shapes, and sizes. To create balance between the main subject and the background, you can place the subject slightly off-center. You can also vary the scale of objects. If you’re shooting a landscape, try varying the scale of the foreground to the background.

Other tips to achieve balance

Balance means creating a composition where the elements in the picture are in a proportionate relationship to each other. A balanced photo looks as though it has been put together with a conscious intent and that it contains all the necessary elements in an appropriate proportion.

This balance in photography composition is achieved by looking for areas of interest in the scene and by placing those elements in the frame to create a strong composition. If you are photographing a landscape, you might place the horizon, trees, mountains, buildings or any other interesting objects in the frame. The objects should be in proportion to each other and to the camera position.

If there is something in the background that is of no interest to you or to your subject, place it on the opposite side of the frame to balance the composition. For example, if you have a lake or river in front of you, and a bridge in the distance, you might use the bridge as a ‘frame’ to balance the image.

Photographs of people have a different set of rules, but, if you want the viewer to look at something, then it needs to be placed in the centre of the picture or within the frame, and it needs to be placed so that it stands out from the background.

There are many ways of achieving balance. You can place your subject in the centre of the frame with the surrounding elements in balance, or you can put the subject in a corner with the rest of the image balanced. You can place the horizon on one side and the mountains on the other, or the tree on one side and the sky on the other.

Balance can also be achieved by using a tripod, and you can adjust your camera’s settings to make sure that your picture looks balanced. It is easier to achieve this effect when you are using a large sensor camera such as a DSLR.