Photography – How To Compose a Photo

Do you aspire to take better photos? Read these simple tips and try them out!

Rule of Thirds / Angles

Imagine 4 lines - 2 horizontal and 2 vertical. Now space them evenly in your mind like this:

If you line up objects or the horizon around these lines, you will naturally have a more appealing photo to look at. This is because it makes the eye 'wander' around the picture, it's just a natural reaction. For example, try not to look around when looking at this photo we took:

Hard not to wander isn't it! When you are next taking photos try following this step.

Depth of View / Bokeh

It's usually good to show some depth in a photo, although not 100% of the time. So how do you do this?

The simplest way is to always have an object or person in the foreground with something in the background. Whether the background or foreground is your focus, you can show depth in most photos. Here is an example:

By doing this you can also create bokeh (blurry foreground or background) like this cute one of our niece:



Here's a simple but good one and that's the key - keep the background simple! If your focus is the foreground, don't let the background distract your eye from it. Sometimes the background can enhance your photo greatly so choose your background carefully and thoughtfully. Example:

More tulips in the background enhance the tulip that is in focus.

The depth of green really make the orange leaves pop!

ISO & Lighting

ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor in your camera. Many cameras, including phones, can adjust the ISO but what setting should you use? The lower the number the less sensitive your camera is to light and the finer the grain. Higher ISO settings are generally used in darker settings to get faster shutter speeds but it comes at a cost - more grainy photos.

The simple answer here is you should always try to stick to the lowest ISO of your camera, which is typically ISO 100 or 200, whenever possible.

Most newer cameras have an Auto ISO settings which you can use to keep things simple though, but why not have a play around with different ISO settings?

This one of my granddad's old barber shop basin was shot at ISO 1000, f/8, 1/30 sec.


For those that can add filters to their lens, if there is any filter you should have in your kit - it's a polarizing filter. There are, of course, many different filters out there but we won't discuss them because we're keeping these tips simple.

Here is an example of how a polarizing filter can enhance the blue from the sky:

What tips have been helpful for you when taking photos? Share them below!

 - John

PS. Remember you can buy our photos here at Mutley Productions Shop

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