Taking the perfect photo seldom happens by chance. Renowned photographers all over the world follow certain techniques to elevate the quality of their shots and make even an ordinary subject seem remarkable. Here are some rules you should take advantage of to get the best results:

The Exposure Triangle

This rule is all about finding the right balance among ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Once you learn how to manipulate all three in manual mode, you can adjust them to showcase the image in the exact way you visualized it. Every time one of these is altered, the other two settings must also be changed to get the desired effect.

Rule of Thirds

Contrary to what most newbie photographers may think, shooting your subject isn’t the same as shooting at a bullseye, so you don’t get any points for keeping it at the dead center of your frame. The rule of thirds is about mentally dividing the frame with vertical and horizontal lines, then positioning your subject along the lines and intersections.

Patterns and Symmetry

Look for symmetrical scenes you can capture, since these are aesthetically pleasing. Leading lines and diagonal lines are another factor to keep an eye out for to shoot images that have a story to tell. This is because converging lines add depth to your photo and lead the viewer around the image’s frame.

Patterns become even more interesting when there’s an object disrupting the pattern in your frame. Another trick is to allow natural frames in your photos such as doors and windows.

Subject Prominence

The more empty space and clutter there is in your frame, the less your subject will shine and it will appear smaller than it should. Move closer and leave no doubt about who or what is supposed to be the center of attention in your photo.

Contrasts

Having a background that contrasts and at the same time complements your subject gives a three dimensional feel to your photo. You can also use depth of field to emphasize that contrast between the foreground and the background by blurring objects at the front and/or back of your subject.

Filters

There are several reasons for using filters, and you can get different types of them to serve various purposes. They are particularly handy for landscape photography. Filters keep your camera lens protected, prevent reflections and glare in your images, as well as control the amount of light and color entering your lens. The types of filters you can get include polarizing filters, neutral density filters and UV filters.

Light Manipulation

Lighting plays a very significant part in creating stunning imagery. There are various methods and equipment that photographers use, in addition to filters, to manipulate light and compose good photos. Flash diffusers, reflectors and softboxes, for instance, are used to prevent unwanted shadows and harsh direct light on your subject.

Tripods

When taking photos with a slower shutter speed or longer exposure, it is essential for the camera to remain stable, and using a tripod becomes necessary even if you have stable hands. Also helpful in capturing great portraits, it is one of the first things you should get when you start photography.

 

While there are many guidelines you can follow to make your photos pop, you don’t have to strictly adhere to these rules, because sometimes your instinct and perspective are better judges of what will work and what won’t. However, it is still best to take some time to master the basics and learn the rules before you bend them. Combining the right techniques for composition can give even the most ordinary subject a new dimension.