Separating elements (or shapes) in a composition allow the viewer to identify the subjects and their relationships to each other clearly. For example, in the image below, taken at the Waterford, NY Tugboat Show, I tried to achieve an effective separation between the four figures in the composition. This can be accomplished by applying effective figure-ground relationship, negative space, and properly overlapping elements. To learn more tips and techniques in composition, click here.
Photograph above taken with a Leica MP240 and a 50mm lens