What's the most important thing to master in photography? I asked this question to ten photographers and eight gave the same answer: composition. More than gear or technical know-how, understanding composition and avoiding common errors that many people make will help you improve your photography more than anything else.
Composition is quite possibly the most important part of photography. What you include in the frame, what you choose to exclude, and where you position your elements are arguably more important than anything else in creating a photo that will stand the test of time as far as quality goes. I mean, we can all talk about gear until there's no oxygen left in our lungs but if we look back at photographic history, many of the most iconic photos have stood the test of time because of the composition and the stories the photos told. Their longevity most definitely isn't because of how technically superior the lenses were, or because the softness of the bokeh blur was uber-creamy and buttery (who creates such ridiculous vernacular?). If you have a great composition and good light in your image, you can get away with a few technical deficiencies much more than if you have an insanely sharp, crisply colored photo that is horribly composed.
But what are some common compositional errors that hold many photographers back? In this video by Pierre. T. Lambert, he discusses five errors that are often repeated by many photographers of all levels. These are not just for beginners and I have to be honest and say that I am sometimes guilty of the first error he touches on - overthinking your composition. Give the video a watch because there are some valuable things to think about in there.
And what other composition mistakes do you think people make that you see far too often? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.