Nikon camera hanging at someone's waist

Up Your Game With These Photography Tips

Easy Strategies for Taking Better Pictures

The advent of digital cameras has made life much easier for amateur photographers. While many cameras have manual overrides, allowing the photographer the desired amount of control, the crucial functions of focus, shutter speed and aperture width have largely become automated. Since today’s cameras take care of most of the technical details on their own, the number-one thing you can do to improve your pictures is to learn about framing and composition. There are many artistic photography tips you can use to take more pleasing photos, regardless of your subject matter.

Digital Photography Tips: Composition and Framing

Whether you’re looking to brush up on some wedding photography tips or want to take pictures of the dramatic autumn foliage in your neighborhood, there are universal principles that apply to all subjects. Some framing and compositional photography tips you can use to take better pictures include:

  • Center of interest. Good photographs always have a clearly identifiable center of interest, or “subject,” which draws the viewer’s eye. All other elements in the photograph should somehow support or draw attention to the center of interest.
  • Planes of depth. Think in terms of foreground, middle ground and background when planning your composition. Your center of interest can occupy any of the three depth planes, though it is most commonly placed in the foreground or middle ground.
  • Perspective. The spatial relationships between the elements in the photograph and the center of interest define its perspective. This is how the three-dimensional reality of the scene you’re photographing is rendered in the two-dimensional picture itself.
  • The rule of thirds. Dividing the image surface into thirds, both vertically and horizontally, can help you choose a perspective and determine the placement of your center of interest. These imaginary lines divide the photographic surface into nine sections, and you can put the center of interest at any spot where these imaginary section lines intersect to create a compelling image.

Learn More About Photography Equipment

If you have a serious interest in photography, you may benefit from enrolling in photography school or taking a photography course at a local community college. This may be particularly helpful if you have an interest in analog photographic techniques and equipment. The aforementioned framing and composition principles apply no matter what photographic medium — analog or digital — you prefer to work in.