Photo Composition: Tips for Taking Digital Pictures

Mar 25 09:02 2010 Autumn Lockwood Print This Article

Learn how you can take better pictures by learning how to properly compose your photographs. Learn three important tips to composing pictures so you can start taking better pictures in no time.

Learning how to compose your photographs can mean the difference between a so-so snapshot and a high quality picture. This article will help give you some tips to improve your photo composition and take great digital pictures.

Filling the Frame & Clearing Clutter

Although there are exceptions to this rule,Guest Posting usually filling the frame is one of the simplest things you can do to improve your composition.

Often times, people try to squeeze too much in the picture and end up with a picture that has a cluttered background and turns out uninteresting.

For example, if you are taking a picture of your child playing on a swing, you should fill the frame of you child on the swing and leave out the swing set and other background clutter like Uncle Ed tending to the barbeque.

Otherwise your child will be lost in the clutter and the picture won't capture the wonderful details of your child's fun flight through the air on the swing. You can always go back and take a close up of Uncle Ed flipping the burgers.

The great thing about digital cameras is that you can see the picture in playback mode to make sure it looks okay. By checking the picture right away, you often can retake the picture and make it better by getting everyone smiling or removing clutter from the background like a lamp post or tree branch.

Leaving lots of empty space in the picture also looks good. You might take a picture of something that fills two thirds of the photo for effect. Just be sure to get a close enough shot that your subject fills at least about a third of the frame. And that brings us to another important tip for taking digital pictures.

Rule of Thirds

Most snapshots have empty (or cluttered) space on either side of the subject, with the subject dead center. That happens because most digital compact cameras with autofocus have center weighted focus.

Rarely do professional photographer have the subject in the center because they use manual focus. However, if you have an auto focus camera there is a trick you can use to avoid center weighted focus. If you have a DSLR you can also use this easy focusing trick.

One of the most popular composition techniques is the "Rule of Thirds". With this technique, the photographer has to visualize six evenly spaced lines breaking the viewfinder into nine even boxes. Some cameras have a feature that lets you opt to have this tic tac toe grid, superimposed over your image in preview mode.

Using this grid in preview mode – or your imagination – you can frame the composition so that the subject (whether an individual, group or object) is on one of the lines of the grid. And don't worry about lining up your subject exactly to the grid lines as it is only intended as a guide. With a little practice, using the rule of thirds will become second nature.

Focus on Focusing

So, it's time to talk about how to get your subject in focus without placing them directly in the center of your picture. This technique works great for subjects that are not moving, like people sitting down or a picture of a statue or tree. Here's what you do:

   1. Using the viewfinder's focus point, move the camera until your subject is in the middle of the frame, and press the shutter release button half way down.
   2. Wait for the green light to glow steadily signifying your focus is locked.
   3. Keeping your finger on the shutter release button so it remains pressed only half way, move the camera until you have the composition you want.
   4. Holding the camera steady, press the shutter the rest of the way.
   5. Always wait for the green light because that is the camera's signal that it has taken the picture.

More Composition Tips for Taking Digital Pictures (Or Film)

Focus on something specific on your subject. With people and animals, the eyes are often the most expressive area so they tend to be the center of attention.

To make photos pop, develop a photographer's eye for contrast. The brighter the brights and the darker the darks, the better the contrast.

Too add interest to a set of  photos of a given subject, take photos from different angles. Get a different perspective by getting up high or lying down on the ground. It is best to vary the angle in which you take your pictures so you can show different perspectives and views.

By using these tips, you'll be able to compose great pictures and display them on your wall for all to enjoy.

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About Article Author

Autumn Lockwood
Autumn Lockwood

Autumn Lockwood is a writer for Your Picture Frames. If you're looking for a unique look for your photo then check out our old fashioned style frames in a variety of wood and metal styled frames. Shop online or call 1-800-780-0699.

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