1. Move it from the middle

While center-stage is a great place for a performer to be, the middle of your picture is not the best place for your subject. Bring your picture to life by simply moving your subject away from the middle of your picture. Start by playing tick-tack-toe with subject position. Imagine a tick-tack-toe grid in your viewfinder. Now place your important subject at one of the intersections of lines. You’ll need to lock the focus if you have an auto-focus camera because most of them focus on whatever is in the center of the viewfinder. The subject also shouldn't fill the entire frame, and that two-thirds of the photo should be negative space. That helps the subject stand out even more.

2. Framing

This is a technique to use when you want to draw attention to something in your photograph. By framing a scene or a subject, say with a window or an archway, you lead the viewer’s eye to the primary focal point.

3. Watch the light next to the subject

The most important part of every picture is the light. It affects the appearance of everything you photograph. Soft light of a cloudy day can soften details and lines.

Don’t like the light on your subject? Then move yourself or your subject. For landscapes, try to take pictures early or late in the day when the light is orangish. The light is softer and the colours are more vibrant. Before you raise your camera, see where the light is coming from, and use it to your advantage.

How is the light interacting with the scene and the subject? Is it highlighting an area or casting interesting shadows? These are all things you can utilise to make an ordinary photo extraordinary. Never shoot with the sun directly behind you. It creates boring, flat light on the subject.

4. Be aware of backgrounds

Everything else in the background that can make or break a great photograph (trash bin, ugly wall, sign etc). So don’t be afraid to ask the person to move (or move yourself) to avoid something distracting in the background.

5. Rule of Thirds

To break it down, cut your frame into thirds by using both horizontal and vertical lines. Then place your point of interest over the cross sections of the grid.

6. Take some vertical pictures

All sorts of things look better in a vertical picture. From a lighthouse near a cliff to the Eiffel Tower to your four-year-old niece jumping in a puddle. So next time out, make a conscious effort to turn your camera sideways and take some vertical pictures.

7. Editing Tools

Experiment with preset settings on Lightroom (presets available on Etsy at affordable prices!), Photoshop or Snapseed (available on App Store & Google Play).

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