I choose this Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photo to analyze. Even though this photo is B/W, it is really powerful in terms of design.
Hyères, France 1932 by Henri Cartier-Bresson
Clear subject to focus
When you see this photo, one subject is clearly catch your eyes -bike guy.
There are several reasons below.
The Rule of Thirds
The bike guy is positioned by the rule of thirds, which is pretty popular and basic rule in composition of photography.
The Rule of Thirds states that when the picture area is divided into thirds, the most important elements of your composition should be placed along the left or right vertical thirds and/or the top and bottom horizontal thirds. In addition, the four intersections of these lines are called the “power points.” This is where a subject should be placed to give it emphasis, and it is here where the eye is automatically drawn. (example image and explanation by Jim Zuckerman – http://www.photovideoedu.com/Learn/Articles/jim-zuckerman-on-composition-the-rule-of-thirds.aspx)
Pavement, stairs, handrail, wall of the apartment draws the guide line to lead the viewer’s attention to the subject.
Contrast between white and black emphasize the subject effectively. Think about whether the bike guy wore brighter cloths or road was darker than the original picture.
The Decisive Moment
Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative. Once you miss it, it is gone forever. – Henri Cartier Bresson