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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  • kcma - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    i'm a photographer, and i think articles and books like these are just silly... it's like, guide to become creative!! or shortcuts to becoming smart!!

    you learn to compose by paying attention to your photos, and receive feedback from others. there are too many websites out there where you will get valid crits. follow a guide to compose creatively will only let you compose as creatively as the writer and everyone else who read it.

    of course, no one will listen to me, and just think, "wow, bookmark the guide, my photo bible is here!!" have it your way, it's your photos, i'll do my job and you do yours :)
  • Dustswirl - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    Very good article! now i see opportunities to take pics that were all around me all the time!

    I hope there will be hints on shadows/contrasts, their use and their problems in the next article!
  • Calin - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    I can hardly wait for the second article in the series. I've sent this to some people I know, it's certainly worth reading

  • Seemann - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    Pretty good article. I'll remember when I take some photos.
  • apriest - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    Some VERY good pictures there Stephen! Good article too. I especially liked the three pictures on the last page. Great first article for this series.

    Aaron Priest

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