Photography Composition :: Tips and Tricks

Mar 28, 2012

There's more to taking a good photo than simply pointing and shooting. We've got the photography basics that will turn your snapshots into works of art!

Think About Your Focal Point

Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in a great view or a funny moment, but try to take a second to think about what the actual focal point of your picture is. Don't just wildly point and shoot.

Change Your Point of View

Whether you're taking a picture of your dog, cat, or baby sister, get down on their level to do it. Don't be afraid to sit down - or even lay down - to get a clearer shot.

Vertical or Horizontal?

Don't forget that you can either take a photo vertically or horizontally (also know as portrait or landscape). Take a second to consider what will look best for the subject you're trying to photograph. The Eiffel Tower, for example, might look best vertically while a picture of your cabin at summer camp could look its best horizontally. Don't be afraid to turn the camera!

Keep an Eye on Your Background

In general, it's best to avoid cluttered or busy backgrounds for your subject. Also, keep an eye out for signs, poles or anything else that could look like they're "poking out" from behind your subject.

Use "Fill Flash"

Your flash isn't just for use indoors or at night. To brighten shadowed faces when the sun is overhead or to stand the subject apart from the background on cloudy days, use your flash! Give it a try. It's a handy trick.

The Rule of Thirds

The subject of your pic doesn't always need to go in the middle. To use this composition rule, imagine there are tic-tac-toe lines on your viewfinder. Place your subject at one of the intersections of the lines and take the picture. Proponents of this technique think it makes a picture more interesting. Give it a shot and see if you agree!

Look Out for Shadows

Keep and eye on where the shadows are in your picture. If a shadow falls across your subject's face, for example, reposition yourself to get better light.

Be a Little Bossy

Don't be shy to ask people (politely) to move closer together, smile, or change their position to get the shot you like the best!

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