As a follow-up to my post on getting your camera off manual, I’m going to introduce a few “rules” about composition. Once you know the rules, feel free to break them too!
1. Rule of Thirds
For whatever reason, it is pleasing to the eye if you place your subject on one of the lines of thirds in your frame. Imagine drawing a tic-tac-toe board (two lines vertical, two lines horizontal) on your photo. Your subject should be on one of the intersections. It’s much easier to show you what I mean. (Clearly I have a favourite intersection! Huh who knew!)
Pay attention to the background. There’s nothing more annoying that a branch growing out of someone’s head, or some clutter that could have easily been moved. Sometimes it isn’t possible to do much but when you can, position yourself to simplify the background. Here's a few examples where I was thinking about the background.
3. Keep it Straight
Make sure your photos are straight, particularly if there are strong horizontal or vertical lines. If you are going to angle your photo, make sure it obviously intentional otherwise it will just look wonky.
4. Leading Lines
Lines (curvy or straight) that guide the viewer's eyes through the photo are leading lines. Our eyes tend to follow lines through the photo to the main subject without being distracted by other elements in the photo.
I really hope these few tips are helpful! Try thinking about these things when you next take your camera out, I'm sure it will make a difference!