Welcome to our first article of the AnandTech Guide to Better Photos. With these articles, we hope to inform and invoke discussion on the topic of photography-related techniques and tips. To start off this series, we are going to look at some compositional concepts that can help improve your photography.

Composition is the arrangement of elements in a picture, but we are going to be discussing specifically arrangements that will make your pictures more visually appealing and interesting. When dealing with composition, it does not matter if you have a high-end digital SLR or a cheap point-and-shoot. In fact, experimenting with composition might be easier to do with a point-and-shoot camera because the simplicity of the shooting process will allow you to concentrate on what you are looking at. The purpose of this article is not to tell you how to take great pictures. Instead, we want to offer some basic principles of composition to stimulate photographic thought. Keep in mind that it is important to think of compositional concepts as guidelines, not rules. In the end, we want you to take these ideas and to use them as aids in composition.

Simplicity, ROT, Lines & Curves
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  • Maverick2002 - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    I have to agree with #5. It's a good beginner's guide, nothing more.
  • Jeff7181 - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    I found it very informative... like #10, I find my pictures are usually boring and I'm not creative at all. Most photography sites don't discuss the basics of composition. The pictures I take that turn out good are mostly by accident... I'm the type who centers whatever I'm taking a picture of and snaps the picture. Or if I'm taking a picture of something larger like a landscape, I just point and shoot without giving much thought to what's in the picture. I'm not REALLY into photography obviously, but when I do take pictures I'd like them to look nice.
  • yelo333 - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    Very nice you happen to have higher res versions of the photos? I especially liked the ladybug&stop sign for some reason...

    If you don't mind emailing them(I'd only use them for personal use, like wallpaper), my email is gmeena at gmail dot com.
  • WooDaddy - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    #11 said it.

    This is who the article was for. Not the rest of us camera jockeys who can go through a roll of 36 in 30 minutes.

    CurtOien, if you really want to get into it, take a camera course at your local community college. Also, check out "Photography" by Barbara London. It's the photography student's textbook.

    And remember, just keep on taking pictures and examining them. That's how you get good at it.
  • CurtOien - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    I’m not a professional photographer or even close to it. I very much appreciated the article. It makes me want to go out and buy a digital camera It costs too much money to click away and experiment with film.
  • ChrisSwede - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    I agree with #5 that this will not make you a professional photographer. But, for someone like me that struggle to take good pictures and do not have a single creative/artistic bone in me, it gives me some hints on how to improve picture quality and get a little excited about taking pictures.
  • Calin - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    #5, you are completely right. However, I am glad for this article as I didn't knew not even a single thing in it. Yes, I am not a photographer

  • skunklet - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    i was hoping u guys gave up on these photography articles...
  • kcma - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link


    brilliant idea!! eat the mattress!! i like them BBQed.
  • Dustswirl - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    You can't explain how to sleep to an insomniac but you can show him a bed.

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