The rule of thirds, the golden spiral, the Phi grid, leading lines, dynamic symmetry and fibonacci… how do you feel about these expressions? Quite like back in school in mathematics class, right?
These composition rules can seem quite complex and overwhelming so here are 8 tips for you to improve your photography. Let's try to keep this one easy!
1. Get your position right
Shooting on eye level is not necessarily the best angle to shoot because it is how we see the world everyday and it can get boring. Maybe try to raise or lower your camera and try different perspectives.
2. Use your phone
Using your phone can help to get a feeling for how different places or subjects look in a 2D shot. It can be quite hard to figure that out with our eyes alone, because we are so used to viewing the world 3 dimensional.
3. Beware of the Rule of Thirds
This rule is the first thing that pops up on the internet when you look up composition rules. However, don’t strictly stick to it. Also listen to your gut feeling and be aware that the rule of thirds can sometimes give you a lot of empty space which can lead to an imbalance in your photo and does not automatically look good.
4. Blur your eyes
This will help you to see abstract colors and shapes. Blurring your sight will make it easy to figure out where the lighter and darker areas are and to get a balanced shot.
5. Think conceptually
What message do you want to bring across? What do you want people to feel looking at your photo?
Do you want the viewer to be part of the scene? Then you should shoot from eye level. But if you want them to be emotionally a little more detached and just be the observer of a scene, then a higher angle makes more sense.
Your angle and position is the key to create distance or intimacy.
6. Keep it simple
Don’t include too much irrelevant detail in your shot. This will drive the attention away from your subject and your message.
7. Keep the edges clean
Again, to keep the attention on your subject, make sure not to cut off someone's arm, hairline or the top of a building or tree. This will have a distracting impact which we do not want.
8. Work in post
Last but not least, you don’t have to capture the perfect shot on camera right away! Have in mind that it is totally up to you to crop the photo later on when editing it and make it look just the way you want it to. If there is a disturbing side object in the photo… feel free to photoshop it out of your way. You are the creator!