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Composition

  • Get close so all you can see is the subject. (See example)

  • Place your subject off-center. (See example)

  • Simple pictures are strong. Keep your pictures uncluttered. (See example)

  • When photographing people, place heads near the top edge of the frame, not the center.

  • When photographing a group of people, keep them close together - at the same distance - for an even exposure. (See example)

  • While photographing a person (or mug shot) vertical pictures are often more pleasing than horizontal or square.

  • Scenic pictures - am I trying to show the sky and clouds? Or the ground and things on it?

  • The human eye is attracted to lines, shapes (see example), patterns, colors (see example). Sometimes these are obvious - fences, roads and lines on buildings.

  • If you can see a lot of space between your main subject and its edges, then you can probably make this conclusion: the subject is too small in the frame. FILL THE FRAME. (See example)

  • Zooming in and out is not substitution for composition. Use your legs to walk toward, away or around your subject. The shorter the focal length of the lens, the wider your background. However, moving closer can call too much attention to your subject and you may lose a spontaneous moment (like a wildlife shot). If your background is cluttered, showing less of it may be a good thing.
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