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Tips on composition

Basic Photography

Text and photos by Cecilia angeles


Capture colors

The color wheel indicates color contrasts or the colors opposite each other like red and green, orange and blue, violet and yellow. Many green plants bear red flowers, so this is a contrast.

They come in dark or light and their respective gradations. A light flower looks more attractive with a dark background, just as a dark subject becomes more noticeable on a light background. The surrounding bears colors, so they are not a serious problem for photographers. Correct exposure and harmony pose the primary consideration.

When colors do not show vibrancy, something is wrong with their exposures. It is practical to bracket shots to capture the correct intensities of colors.


Capture the personality and character of portrait models

A picture tells a thousand words. Looking at a picture whether ID, 4R or bigger print, a viewer elicits reaction from the picture he is looking at especially portrait.

Ang ganda. Maamo ang mukha. Or mabilasik. Parang matalino. Yes, people elicit happy reaction, smile on the lips, happy mood, murmured thoughts or even angry or sad expression. And that is the magic of portraiture.

It reveals the character and personality of the subject.  It really takes a good photographer to capture this personality. He uses a bit of psychology and conversational socialization to draw the model’s confidence in his poses.

As he wins the confidence of the subject, he easily knows the exact time to press his shutter to capture the personality of his model.



Cecilia Angeles is a regular lecturer in the basic photography workshop at the Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation (FPPF) in Intramuros, Manila. She is also a professor at the Philippine Women’s University (PWU) handling Fine Arts subjects.  She is the author of eleven modular books on various Fine Arts subjects adapted for teaching in the Fine Arts Department of PWU.