Hey all, I love browsing everyone's photos on here and offering advice however one thing I notice thats a common mistake for all photographers starting out is composition! I do some fine art photography here in NYC so I have a little knowledge on what look good in a photo (I'm by no means the best out there). These days just about any modern camera can decide pretty quickly what the best aperture and shutter speed will be for you but composition is 1/2 of what makes a great image, the other half being light. So below I'm going to go over some basics for everyone so that more people can nail those photos without having to risk getting caught by having to return to a difficult site or wait for the right conditions again.
I'd also love to see your shots to see if this helped! along with any other critiques you might want.
1: The Rule of Thirds
This bad boy is the mac-daddy of photo composition, you literally can't go wrong with this rule. 95% of all your photo situations can be covered with this guy. The basic concept is that you're dividing up your frame with two vertical lines, and two horizontal lines that split your image into 9 equal sections. The goal is to have a prominent article in your photo line up with these lines or an intersection of them. Be it a Horizon, a chair in a room, or an opiate-high homeless man you found in the basement of an abandoned mansion. This rule helps you divide your image into a balance of dead space and visual noise. when these are out of balance it can ruin an otherwise great shot.
2: Golden Spiral (Fibonacci Spiral)
This guy is more complicated but still handy once you get used to it. Sadly I dont think any cameras have this option for an overlay but if you have some tracing paper or an old plastic sheet you can cut to cover your camera screen and draw a basic Spiral on it (or even have it printed out). Basically this method helps guide the eye around an image and to a focal point. Be it a person or object in the frame. Whats great about it is there's no one orientation to it. You can throw down, flip it, AND reverse it just to make your image work it.
3: Golden Triangle
Another grandaddy method, this one is used very often with urban shots with nearby traffic or trains, this method mostly applies when you're trying to show perspective in an image. It also comes in handy as a way to split an image in half without using the standard right down the middle method. This method can also be tricky but come in great handy with surprising situations. The best way to visually lay this out in your head while taking an image is to draw a line diagonally from one corner of your frame to another, then having a line come off that one at a right angle towards one of the other corners in the frame. Having a subject follow these line or meet at their intersecting points will provide a dramatic balance to your photos.
4: Right Down the Middle/Balanced
A very, very, VERY simple way to frame up an image. one line going straight up the center of your frame and straight across in the center. This method is also great for horizons or photos with very simple composition. Say you have a large blank wall with an interesting crack or piece of furniture in front of it, just line it up in the center and extra points if you want to line up where the wall and floor meet in the center to give a stark feeling to your images.
*All images posted are for example purposes, I dont own the rights!*