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There are many aspects of composition but here we're only dealing with cropping and framing here.

Look room
The subjects eyes pointing into space in the frame.
Lead room
The subject has room for movement into the frame.

Subjects looking into the picture. Tension and relaxation.

The rest of this is more a list of considerations to prompt your thinking about their relevance to your particular project rather than rules to follow.

The rule of thirds

Lorem ipsum. Naturally pleasing to the eye. Not so much a rule more of some guidelines. ;-)

the ratio between them is the same as one of them to their sum to the larger one. 1:1.618...
 "Design" the composition.
 rule of triangles
 rule of odds (as opposed to even)
  diagonals provide dramatic tension
 painting ala prima - thin pait sticks onto thick paint - add mineral spirits. (Yupari)
 use cheap synthetic watercolour brushes for soft wet-over-wet "glazing". (Yupari)
 Photo tips - Jamie Windsor
  fill the frome with what's interesting - don't have anything in the frame that's distracting
  backgrounds - change the angle, defocus with shallow depth of field, have contrast
  edit - drop any photos that aren't top quality
  fill the frame
  no other distractions in frame
  Of all the properties of color, value is by far the most powerful.
  Value and design set the painting; all else builds from them.
  Design your painting in terms of silhouettes; dark on light, rich on grey, warm on cool, etc.
  As you design your painting, always keep in mind that the viewer's eye moves from the area of greatest contrast to least contrast.
    Sergei Bongart
Not so much rules more guidelines. Cropping existing photos... Further composition for taking your own photos, compositing image fragments or drawing your own scenes. Know what your story is. List the things you want the viewer to see and the order you want them to see them. but realise that you can highlight particular objects in the rendering Don't have the canvas edge or frame intersect anything meaningful. Avoid characters standing on the frame. Cut figures at mid thigh or below the shoulder not at the waist or knee. Don't cut figures if they have headroom, makes them look uncomfortable encroaching an confrontational. The primary element should be of sufficient size and not drowned out by their environment. Near by elements shouldn't be the same size as the primary focus. Evenly spaced characters have one feel but singling out one to stand alone or in a small group gives another. Don't be so busy that you lose the viewer in irrelevant details. additionally for compositing photo fragments in an image editor: Obviously the sizes of elements must be modified to their place in the scene. If there is any lens distortion correct it or at least make it consistent. Each object must have the same lighing or logically consistent lighing. adding a character lit from a candle to a group of others in sunlight and putting them in a neon lit night street scene is going to look crap Leading lines take the viewer's attention through the painting. Leading lines take the viewer's attention deep into the painting enhancing the dimensional quality you may be looking for. Direction lines take the eye into and around the painting. try not to lead the viewer off the canvas, use short stopping lines before the edge. Overlapping object create receding character. Variety adds interest. Distracting elements should be ommitted. Remove anything that does not add to the story. Vary the viewpoint - eg. dramatic knee level view.
  Negative and Positive Space
  Sedate, Alert & Dynamic
  Rule of Thirds
  Low Horizon & High Horizon
  Odd-Numbered Visual Elements
  Foreground, Midground, & Background
  Leading the Eye
Plato's rule When asked by a student, "What makes a great composition in art?" Plato's response was, "Find and represent the variety within the unity". (may not be genuine) Plato, the first philosopher of art, identified beauty with simplicity, harmony, and proportion,

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