The modern camera is capable of many things. It can focus for you; work outexposure for you; select a suitable shutter speed or aperture along with a multitudeof other functions. However useful you may find these functions the one thing acamera can't do is compose your picture for you. It has no idea what it is pointing atand it has no idea what you are trying to achieve so you are on your own.
If you are using an 'auto-everything' camera like a 35mm compact or program SLRthen your main area of control is going to be in the composition of yourphotographs. Sadly I can't tell you how to take a great picture as to some degree itcomes down to your ability to 'see' a picture or the potential to create a picture.Having said that; there are a load of 'rules' and techniques you can use to improvethe final look of your photographs. We will look at a few of the popular, effectiveand easy to implement techniques that you will be able to start using right away. There are 3 basic ways to arrange the elements within your composition.
Physically move objects relative to each other. Only really works withstill life photography.
Tell people to move relative to each other or other objects. Only workswith people who can hear you.
Move ! Usually the most effective way to control your composition is toalter your viewpoint. That last one is probably the easiest and yet most important. How often have youthought 'that would make a great picture' then put your camera to your eye andtaken a photograph. Loads of times, you see people do it all the time. By all meansdo that but right after doing it take a wander about and see if you can improve onyour original composition by changing your viewpoint. You may be surprised howmuch difference walking a few metres can make.
Fill the frame
Sometimes your mind tends to exaggerate what you see through the viewfinder of your camera. You often perceive things a bit bigger than they actually are and youalso tend not to notice 'slight' distractions. What you end up with is photographswith huge areas of wasted space around the edge and people with things growingout of their heads. Make sure your subject fills the frame. The best way to do this isto move a bit closer. Before you press that shutter release have a quick look roundthe edge of the frame and behind your subject. Make sure that you don't have acres