Image creation and image build-up

Images with the same subject can have a different effect on observers depending on the aspect ratio and the positioning of image elements. In the following article are the most well-known rules for creating an image. Also check the category Photo tips! Here you can find more information and tips for image creation. To create suspense, these rules can be broken intentionally. However, it is still useful for a beginner to know these rules.

Subject choice

There is one important rule for choosing subject and image section. Concentrate on the key aspects and don’t attempt to capture too many details in one image. Think about your subsequent output format. When Andreas Gursky (German photographer) frames a fascinating world of ever surprising detail in his large-sized images, this does not mean it would have the same positive effect in a 10x15cm format. 

Read more: Subject choice

Portrait / Landscape Format

On all cameras that have an image format this doesn’t have an aspect ratio of 1:1 (e.g. 6x6), you have to decide in advance whether the image should be captured in portrait or landscape format. The image format determines the way the image is created.

Read more: Portrait / Landscape Format

Golden Ratio

Positioning the main subject in the centre of the image often comes across as too static and boring. However, there are certain noteworthy exceptions. The following tips are therefore not defined too narrowly.

Read more: Golden Ratio

Rule of Thirds

Creating an image on the based on the “rule of thirds” is much simpler than following the “golden ratio”. Here the image is imagined to be divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced vertical lines and two equally-spaced horizontal lines.

Read more: Rule of Thirds

The Horizon’s Position

Where the horizon is positioned can change an image’s effet considerably. The horizon’s position is therefore an important tool in image creation. Especially in landscape shots the horizon is often one of the key visual elements.

Read more: The Horizon’s Position

Horizon in Centre of Image

This image build-up is usually avoided, because if the image is divided into two equal areas these areas compete with one another. The image’s effect is perceived to be less interesting. However, there is no rule without an exception – the right symmetries (e.g. mirroring) can allow this image build-up to develop an interesting image effect.

Read more: Horizon in Centre of Image

High Horizon

The high-lying horizon comes across as heavy. In spite of the vast landscape, the image build-up in this image comes across as considerably narrower and more compressed. The road running towards the horizon, however, disperses some of the image’s narrowness as the observers gaze is directed towards distance.

Read more: High Horizon

Low Horizon

With a low-lying horizon, the sky takes up a large portion of the image. It gives the impression of vastness. Ensure that the base subject still retains enough weight in the image.

Read more: Low Horizon

Central Perspective

There are more very common types of image build-ups. When creating an image based on central perspective, the vanishing point is in the centre of the image.

Read more: Central Perspective


Many photos consist of various image planes in relation to distance (foreground, background …). It is a good opportunity to create spatial depth in images.

Read more: Foreground


The perspective is a deciding element for image creation. Changing the perspective can lead to surprising results and can influence the image’s message considerably. The perspective is achieved by changing the camera’s position. Where the photographer is located, is vital. In contrast, changing the focal length by zoom or changing the lens does not result in a change of perspective; it only impacts image detail.

Read more: Perspective

You are here: Home Image creation and image build-up