If you want to actually start creating images instead of just taking snapshots, it’s important to think about the composition of the photograph before you even raise the camera to your eye. The Nikon D3200 has great exposure metering and an impressive autofocus, which makes taking good photos easy. To take great photos, however, you need to understand composition. In the simplest terms, composition is the arrangement of the elements in your photo. However, to really understand how to get the most visual impact from what you include in an image, you need to have a solid foundation in the basics of composition.

NOTE If you want more in-depth information about composition, check out the Composition Digital Field Guide, also available from Wiley.

Many new photographers start out by placing the subject right in the middle of the frame, simply because that is the easiest thing to do. There are times when this works, but most of the time, placing your subject dead center results in a rather average photo. The good news is that there are some guidelines you can follow to help add interest to your photos. These guidelines are often referred to as the rules of composition. However, they’re not really rules as much as tools to help you improve your composition. To see if they work for you, take a photograph the way you normally would, and then take the same photograph following the rules of composition to see if it improves your image.

6.13 When taking this photo, I framed ...

Get Nikon D3200 Digital Field Guide now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.