10 Simple Composition Rules to Take Better Photos

Photo Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping

Do you want to be a better memory keeper but  struggle with taking “good” photos? If your answer is yes, then today’s message is for you! Photography is both an art form and a skill. As a form of self-expression, sometimes we’re not quite sure how to express what we really want to—at least not in a pretty way. Luckily, the skill part of capturing a great photo can be taught! Today we are reviewing a few basic rules of photography composition so that you can capture all of those picture-perfect moments life throws your way in photos you will be proud to scrapbook!

1. The Rule of ThirdsPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ruleofthirdsPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ruleofthirds

The Rule of Thirds is a fairly standard rule most photographers try to follow. Imagine that your shot has a 3 x 3 grid over it, then line up the main focus of your photograph at one of the intersection points on the grid. In these photos, the photographer has applied the Rule of Thirds by placing the cat’s nose and the people’s heads in the right-middle square of this imaginary grid. This way, the main focus of the photo isn’t dead center in the middle of the shot, which helps to visually expand the space.

2. Leading LinesPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #leadinglinesPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #leadinglines2

When you line up your shot, you may want to look for a leading line. Leading lines are visual lines that lead to the main subject of an image. Leading lines can extend through your photo and create depth. In these examples, you can see how the photographer used the pathway and trail to direct attention from the edges of the photographs to their main subject.

3. Natural FramingPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #naturalframingPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ruleofthirds

Framing doesn’t have to be something that happens only after your pictures have been developed or printed. Finding a natural frame and positioning your subject inside it is a great way to draw the shot together and add a more professional feel to your photography. Here, you can see how the woman’s hands and the wall provide a frame for the most important parts of the photos.

4. PerspectivePhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #perspectivePhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #perspective

Photography is largely about perspective. Slight changes in perspective can make or break a photo. If you aren’t happy with the way your photo is looking, try switching up your position to alter the perspective of the shot. Whether you shoot your photo from above or below, as you can see in these examples, switching up your angle to get a different perspective can help you take your photography to all new heights.

5. ExposurePhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #exposurePhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #exposure

Exposure is a vital part of any photograph. If a photo is over-exposed, everything will be washed out in bright light, making the subject nearly invisible. On the other hand, if a photo is under-exposed, everything in your shot will appear shadowy and dark. By finding a good balance, you can highlight your subject while preserving the beauty of your background. For this tip, we’ve provided an example of bad exposure with excess light to show you what you don’t want to happen. We’ve also provided a good example with a balance of light and shadow. Finding this balance may take some practice, but it’s definitely worth it to add greater polish to your photos.

6. Check Your Background!Photo Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #backgroundPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #background

From telephone poles, wires, and cars, to animals, and stealthy photobombers, nothing is more distracting than something you don’t want in the background of your photo. Since many cameras nowadays allow us to look back at our shots instantly, it’s easier than ever to deal with this, but it’s always a good idea to double and triple-check the background of each photo to make sure you haven’t accidentally captured a distraction.

7. Symmetry and PatternsPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #symmetry #patternsPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #symmetry #patterns

Most people have a thing for symmetry and patterns. Sometimes, we can’t quite put our finger on why we prefer certain photos to others, but chances are, symmetry and patterns (or the lack thereof) have something to do with it. Even if we aren’t aware of it consciously, we still notice. If you’re able to find a pattern or some beautiful symmetry in your shot, take advantage of it! In these shots, the photographer utilized the symmetry in the architecture of the cathedral and the natural pattern created by the flowering trees to appeal to that sub-conscious love of regularity we all share.

8. ForegroundPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #foregroundPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #foreground

When you have a clear subject in your photograph, it may seem counterintuitive to focus on anything but that subject in your photo. However, if you are able to create some interest in the foreground of your shot, you’ll be able to create the illusion of additional depth. In these examples, the cup of coffee and the look-out binoculars serve as additional interest points, which also create depth in both photos.

9. TrianglesPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #trianglesPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #triangles

This “rule” is related to the patterns and symmetry guideline. If you look closely, you can find triangles in nearly everything you see. If you can integrate triangles into the background, foreground, or leading lines of your photo, it will instantly enhance the quality of your photo. These triangles don’t necessarily need to be overt or obvious. Basically, you just need to be able to draw a triangle using points in the photograph. Whether the triangles are created by an architectural element or by people’s arms, they will add greatly to the aesthetic value of your photos.

10. Rules Are Made to Be Broken!

Once you have a good grasp of the first nine photography rules we just shared, you will be ready to explore your creativity and learn when and how to break them. If you want to achieve an effect that follows one rule while breaking another, go for it! Don’t be afraid to branch out and experiment on your own terms to find your niche.

Do you guys have any tricks or techniques that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!

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5 Ways to Get Out of a Creative Rut and Get Inspired

We’ve all been there. No matter how much we enjoy creating, eventually there comes a time where we find that our creative juices are anything but flowing. It is nothing to feel bad about. Lulls come and go and are part of the creative process. However inevitable these ruts may be, we do at least have some control over how long we allow ourselves to stay in them. Below are five suggestions to get out of that brain-lock and find your muse.

  1. Carve out a creative space.

Workspace Wonder™ Organization #ctmh #closetomyheart #workspacewonder #work #space #wonder #organization #organisation #system #storage #solution #stacking #declutter #papercrafting #paper #craft #crafting #diy #cardmaking #scrapbooking

Dedicate a physical place for your crafting and take the time to nest. Make it a place that reminds you of how much you love scrapbooking or cardmaking (or both!) and why. While craft rooms can be fabulous, this creative space doesn’t have to be an entire room. A desk or a table work just as well. Include quotes, photos, finished projects, supplies—whatever supports your creative energy. Once your place is all set up, don’t let it get stale. Keep wanting to spend time there by keeping it up with a cute new pillow, or quote, or photos, etc. Make this the place you physically go to, and want to go to, when you work on your art.

A physical place is just the beginning of a creative space. Before going to your place, make sure your mind is going with you, too! Clear your mind of stresses to make room for new ideas to sprout and grow. Everyone does this a little bit differently. For some, going on a walk or a drive does the trick. Others may require locking the door, turning on some music, and dancing without inhibitions. Whatever your process, do your best to clear your mind and stay present before you sit down to create.

  1. Show up.

You’ve carved out a creative space, both physically and mentally. Now, the next thing is to show up. Set time aside for the thing that you love and make it the thing to do at that time. Add it to your daily, weekly, or monthly schedule. The important thing is that you include it in your routine and that you actually take the time to do it. Even if you don’t have a project that you are currently working on, feed your creativity. Sit down in your place and create something. Remove the pressure of creating for a specific reason. You create because you love to.

  1. Try something new.

Enhance your creativity by doing things differently from time-to-time.

sistine-chapel-ceiling

Michelangelo, one of the greatest artists of all time, always thought of himself as a sculptor and not a painter. When he was commissioned to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel he tried turning it down but was eventually persuaded otherwise. (Aren’t you glad?) Up until that commission, Michelangelo had never painted in fresco or even used color in any of his art.

Just like Michelangelo, you’ll never know what you are capable of if you stick to the same, habitual, never changing methods and ideas. Experiment with new media, new products, and new techniques. Even though you will fail occasionally, you will also have successes.

  1. See what others are up to.

This is the point where we tell you to take your headphones off and connect with the world that is around you. Visit museums and art shows, attend concerts and live theater, flip through magazines, go shopping, eat at your favorite restaurants, and spend time with uplifting people. Allow all of this creative energy to rub off on you and reign it in to use on your art.

  1. Keep an inspiration journal.

Keep a notebook or use your phone to gather and keep ideas that inspire you. You never know when you’ll see something that you just love to look at, for whatever reason—it could be a color combination, an arrangement, a theme, etc. Keep all of these ideas in one place to refer back to often, especially when you’re feeling creatively stuck.

Take a look at these two examples:

How to Get Out of a Creative Rut #ctmh #closetomyheart #creativerut #creativespace #creativeinspiration #artinspiration #inspiration #inspirationjournal

You’re out shopping for new linens one day when you realize that you can’t stop looking at the arrangement of the wall display. There is something comforting about how neat and organized everything is, so you snap a photo and move on with your errand. Later that week when you sit down in your creative space, you pull out the photo you took and then create the following page for your scrapbook, using the lines created by the shelves as your inspiration:

How to Get Out of a Creative Rut #ctmh #closetomyheart #creativerut #creativespace #creativeinspiration #artinspiration #inspiration #inspirationjournal #awesomelayout #scrapbooking

On another occasion, you’re flipping through a magazine and see this photo:

How to Get Out of a Creative Rut #ctmh #closetomyheart #creativerut #creativespace #creativeinspiration #artinspiration #inspiration #inspirationjournal

You clip the photo (or take a photo of it with your phone) and save it in your inspiration journal. Pulling from the heavy pattern on the wall and smaller items offset to the side, you create a card.

How to Get Out of a Creative Rut #ctmh #closetomyheart #creativerut #creativespace #creativeinspiration #artinspiration #inspiration #inspirationjournal #wildaboutyou

The card is based on the same compositional elements as the photo. There is a heavy pattern in the background, a large sentiment in the front (like the chair), with smaller complements next to it.

We hope that this new year brings lots of creative ideas to you all. And if ever in a rut, review our list above to help you find your inspiration.

What are some things you do to feed your creative energy?


Recipes:

4¼” x 5½” Wild About You Card (Horizontal)
X5999 Charcoal Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, X7241E Picture My Life™ Cards—So Much Happy, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4254 So Much Happy Puffy Stickers, Z4270 I Heart Us Sequins, Z4221 Mink Twine, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

12″ x 12″ Awesome Page
X7240B Something Fierce Paper Packet, X5999 Charcoal Cardstock, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4254 So Much Happy Puffy Stickers, Z3314 Black & White Dots, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Sewing Machine

 

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