Take particular care to ensure the subject isn't leading the viewer out of the frame. Generally, viewers want as much context as we can pack into each image. We want to see where that animal is headed or what that fly fisherman is casting to. This means making sure the subject is looking, walking or positioned into, and not out of, the frame. Give your subject breathing room around the edges of your frame. Crowding or clipping leaves viewers uneasy and seldom makes for a good composition.
Quick Tips For Stronger Compositions
1Get low or climb high. Resist the urge to shoot at eye level. You'll be amazed at how an image can transform itself from even just a slightly different perspective.
2Slow down! Take a moment to study the scene in front of you before clicking away.
3Use a tripod. This gives you a stable platform, and it also will help you study the smaller, more subtle nuances within your scene.
4Know your location. More importantly, know where the sun will rise and fall each morning and evening. This will help in finding ideal shooting locations for your preferred composition. Suunto's new Ambit adventure watch allows you to find that perfect spot using the latest in GPS and digital compass technology. The Photographer's Ephemeris is a great tool for predicting how the light will change on a scene (www.photoephemeris.com).
5Use Live View. It's extremely helpful for scrutinizing the corners and edges of your frame for clutter and distracting elements, and for studying the overall look and feel of your image. You also can use a grid overlay that will assist in leveling the camera and employing the rule of thirds.
Think about the rule of thirds and, more specifically, about the four points where the rule-of-thirds grid lines intersect. Place your subject, or the most important part of your subject, on those points. Study the exceptional images of other photographers, and you're sure to notice a general trend as to where they place their primary subjects. Finally, our eyes naturally travel to the areas of highest contrast within an image, so look to place your subjects in those spots. This may require moving your subject, if possible, or changing your shooting position. Small adjustments can make huge differences in accentuating a shape and separating it from its surroundings.
Remember that creative composition is your signature stamp on each and every image you capture. Commit to searching within yourself to create unique and stunning imagery that speaks to your own individualistic vision.