What you shoot with your camera is important, but how you shoot your subject is much more important. White balance and exposure settings aside, you have to pay attention to the way you compose your shots. After all, a good subject may appear uninteresting if you frame the image poorly.
So, to improve your shots, follow these five composition rules:
Put the Subject Off-Center
The real lesson in the rule of thirds is to avoid placing your subject at the center of the frame. Unless you’re shooting portraits, photographs are more interesting when the subject isn’t in the middle of everything. A great example of this is when there is action in the shot. If the frame captures a man running to the right, it’s only logical to put some space on the right to show where the action is headed.
Think in Frames
In photography, you have the power to depict the world in one frame. What you see in the viewfinder is all there is, so think about that before you push the button. Fill the frame, but think about the elements that take up the space. Make sure that the foreground is clear and the background doesn’t distract the eye. Remember: framing is everything.
Lead with Lines
Lines are everywhere in photography, and these are one of the strongest elements you can use to capture a powerful shot. Lines provide your viewers the direction on where they would direct their attention. These also give more visual depth and create drama to the photograph.
Straighten the Horizon
Landscape photography is perhaps the most common branch of the craft. The problem is most people make the mistake of capturing slanting horizons, which is a mortal sin in the craft. Whatever you’re shooting, always ensure your shots have a straight horizon. This is easy when you use a Manfrotto tripod. If you don’t have one, buy one – it’s well worth it.
Break the Rules
Last but not the least, don’t confine your shooting within these rules. Consider these as your guidelines to capture a shot, but these are not absolute. It’s fine to break one or more rules sometimes for your photo to make a statement. But as with any craft you learn, it’s best to understand the rules first before you even try to break any of them.
When you follow these rules, your photography skills will definitely level up. Keep these in mind and capture shots like a real pro.