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Home arrow Photography Tips arrow Composing Better Pictures
Photography Tips For Composing Better Pictures

total-image20.jpg site contributor:
Total-Image Magazine By Shelton Muller


Ok, you don’t want to be professional but you want your pictures to be as good as they can be, right? Well, it’s really not that hard! The key to successful pictures is often in the composition. Here are some really easy tips to making your photos successful.


We should never have to explain why we took a picture or what the interesting thing about it. If we find ourselves having to do that all the time, we are not faring too well at our picture taking. The key to interesting and appealing photographs is in highlighting the subject. The subject is the reason for the photograph. Here are some ways to compose your pictures to ensure that no explanations are necessary.


Get Close

One of the first rules of successful photography is filling the frame. When we are taking pictures, our minds see only what interests us. We zoom in with our minds and mentally remove anything in the frame that doesn’t interest us. But the camera sees all and when we get our photos back, our subjects are too small in the frame and there are so many things in the picture we didn’t want to be there! Make sure that you have moved close enough to your subject so that nothing is in the frame that doesn’t need to be there. Get close or zoom in so that your subject is not a minuscule dot that you have to explain to others!


Avoid Dead Centre

Don’t use your camera like a gun scope. People aren’t targets - they are subjects, and you don’t put their faces dead centre in the frame! That just isn’t creative composition! More than that, it creates a lot of wasted space above them with little interest. Moving your subject’s face to the top third of your frame will ensure a far more pleasing portrait.


Horizontal or Vertical?

We are used to holding our cameras so that everything is composed horizontally, but this is not always the best way - especially if we are photographing people. Unless they are asleep on the couch, our friends and family are usually seen standing vertically, right? So, turn your camera sideways, put their faces in the top third of the frame and ‘voila!” - you have a nicely framed portrait of your subject.


Use Natural Frames

We are used to putting our pictures in frames, so why not frame our compositions? Using doorways, tree boughs and windows can be very effective in drawing attention to the subject, which is what good pictures are all about!


Change Your Perspective

Avoid taking all your pictures from a standard height. When photographing children - get down to their level so that you don’t look like you are overpowering them from a height. Sometimes even landscape photographs can be more effective when you come down a little bit and include some interest in the foreground. Elevating your perspective can also be interesting, depending on the subject. The point is: varying your viewpoint from picture to picture will make your photographs more appealing.


Use Thirds

One the standard rules of composition is the rule of thirds. This means that you divide your frame up into thirds and place your subjects within these sections. This is especially true of people pictures. Try to put their faces in the top third of your frame, rather than ‘dead centre’ as we have mentioned. If your picture is a scene or a landscape, put the horizon at the top or bottom third, depending on which is more important - the land or the sky. If you are photographing people in the landscape, place them in the left or right third. You can take this a step further too. The points where the vertical and horizontal thirds meet are very powerful place to put your subject. Give this a try!


To be really creative, try placing your subject in the frame at the point where the vertical and horizontal thirds intersect!

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