Composing Your Shot - Some Simple Rules to Make You a Better Photographer

Rules? Really? You’re probably contemplating… it’s because you do not like rules. But you’re right. Neither do I. According to Captain of the Caribbean’s Barbossa, they’re more like what one might call “guidelines” than actual rules.

This is the first installment of a series of posts I’ll write to help you be more effective as a photographer. If you enjoy them, or even if you don’t, aren’t sure, please let me know via your comments in the section below.

There’s no need to worry about which camera model you have – whether an ordinary point-and-shoot or the most recent Nikon with a top-of-the-line lens, you’ll be more skilled at photography by following these rules.

Rule (guideline) number 1 The rule of thirds

Simply stated, the rule of thirds can help you get the most impactful photos by ensuring you fill your photo with exciting details. It’s an x3 grid, and the goal is to fill all of the grid in the way you’re able. Although I’m not saying you must have some sort of activity throughout the grid, generally speaking, it can make your photos more appealing.

One of the ways I work is to find a photograph I’ve snapped and overlay it over the grid of 3×3. I then measure the area I’ve filled. I typically employ MS PowerPoint and overlay the image with 3×3 tables; however, you could make use of any other software that you’re comfortable with, or you could print the image and use tracing papers for the grid.

Rule (guideline) number 2 – Balancing

Balancing can be combined with using the Rule of Thirds to produce photos that are more unique. We’ve all taken photographs where we attempt to focus the camera on the center of the photo. Balancing techniques shifts this focus elsewhere and, at the same technique, adds other fascinating elements to the picture.

Rule (guideline) number 3 – Viewpoint & Angles

You may have seen the expression “fail to plan, plan to fail.” This is a common phrase in the business world to emphasize the importance of making plans.

If you consider an auto manufacturer, for example, It doesn’t only build automobiles – lots of development, design, and testing takes place in the background before it gets on the manufacturing line. The same rules apply to photography.

Before taking your shot, take a quick look around. Consider your target audience and how they’ll view the picture. Are you looking for a photo that’s taken from a vantage point, at eye level, below, left or right side, as well as from an elevated position? Every angle or perspective gives the viewer the opportunity to see a different angle of the photograph.

Rule (guideline) number 4 – Backgrounds

Backgrounds can ruin the quality of a photograph. You could possess the most impressive main focus point in your image; however, something in your background could make the entire photo fail. I’ve seen many photos that failed due to an exit sign or some other distracting elements in the background.

If you’re able to move, take advantage of it if you can convince your subject’s movement more effectively. Many people would prefer to crop the unwanted parts later. My suggestion to you is to be focused on creating the perfect shot the first time every time. I guarantee that you’ll be an improved photographer because of it. If you’ve tried the best you can and failed due to an issue that is beyond your control, should you switch to Photoshop?

Rule (guideline) number 5 – Depth

What is Depth? It’s a technique to make pictures appear more real-looking – making them stand out. Our eyes can recognize things at various distances easily, but for photographs, it can be pretty tricky.

It is essential to create an image that has elements or objects that are at different distances. This will create a perception that people can believe in the image you captured when you took the picture.

Rules (guideline) 6. Framing

Framing can be used to create photos with lots going on, but your focus is on one or two portions of the photograph.

Last words (for this post, at the very least) Don’t be afraid to try new things.

In the digital age of photography, you can snap away without worrying about massive development costs for your photos. Take photos at various angles, with various levels of detail and various backdrops to make yourself the most OK photographer you can become.