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Photoshop® Elements 6 for Dummies® by Ted Padova, Barbara Obermeier

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Chapter 17. Ten Tips for Composing Better Photos

In This Chapter

  • Finding a focal point and using the rule of thirds

  • Cutting the clutter and framing your shot

  • Employing contrast, leading lines, and viewpoints

  • Using light and giving direction

  • Considering direction of movement

A few things have to come together to make a great photograph. One is being in the right place at the right time. Another is the ability to tell a story. Yet another is excellent composition. Unfortunately, we can't help with your schedule or storytelling, but we can give you several easy tips on how to take photographs that are interesting and well-composed. Some of these tips overlap and contain common concepts. But they're all free; they don't require any extra money or equipment. All they take are an open mind and an eye that's willing to be trained over time.

Ten Tips for Composing Better Photos

Find a Focal Point

One of the most important tools for properly composing a photo is establishing a focal point — a main point of interest. If too many elements are competing for attention, a photo probably doesn't have a clearly defined focal point. Your eye, therefore, doesn't know where to look. Too many images without a focal point cause the viewer to tire quickly or lose interest. The eye wants to be drawn to a subject.

Excessive background elements, like furniture, walls, tables, fences, buildings, and even random bystanders, don't add much to the compositional ...

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