"Make, don't just take, a photo."
My university professor's words inspire intention in each of my photographs. He did not allow us to edit our photos. To this day, I do not edit the composition of most of my photos. I learned to shoot with film, so I take the time to make the photo. I then just edit the lighting, if needed.
Below are a few techniques to improve the aesthetic of your photographs. Choose just one, or a combination, in order to not just document a memory but to create a story that suddenly captivates a complete stranger.
Of course, any or all of these may be broken. But break them on purpose.
Practice these techniques often in order to develop your eye for photography. Spend less times taking photos that you will later delete and spend less time editing the ones that are "almost" what you want.
Your equipment does not matter for composition. 7 of the 10 photos, below, were taken with a camera phone. 1 was taken with a very old digital camera. Only 2 were taken with a newer, mirrorless digital camera.
Rule of Thirds
Imagine a tic-tac-toe board over your photo, with two horizontal lines and two vertical lines drawn to create three rows and three columns. To improve the aesthetic of your photograph, place the horizon on one of the horizontal lines, rather than in the middle of the image. Additionally, place your subject at one of the four intersections of lines.
Consider using shapes in the foreground to create a frame within your image. You can use a window, like the one from the airplane, below, or even a piece of a construction site. You can use your eyeglasses, a door, your body. Be creative.
Pay attention to the literal lines in your photograph. Parallel lines, in real life, framed correctly, appear to converge on the horizon in a photograph. This implies movement. It makes the viewer feel like he can actually move, infinitely, through your image.
Triangles add strength, not just in actual construction, but also in the aesthetic of a photograph. How many triangles can you count in the photograph below? The eye likes to follow lines to their point of intersection. Triangles can lead a viewer to a focus point or can be the focus points, themselves.
It is difficult to appreciate the size of an object or the vastness of a landscape, without another object to provide scale and prospective. A human next to, or in this case, on top of, an airplane helps the viewer understand the size of the airplane. It also brings life to a scene of tragedy, but one in which everyone survived the crash. In the adjacent image, both the bird and the mountains complement the greatness of Perito Moreno, a glacier averaging 74m (240ft) high.
In the comments, choose one of the photos from this post and tell us which other technique(s) it shows, besides the one for which it is shown as an example.
Christine & Angel
Aisle or window
He likes the window; she likes the aisle. Match made at FL350. Here are some other travel preferences. Full disclaimer: These are affiliate links, meaning the authors are rewarded for referrals (usually in the form of a credit to use more of the product/service themselves). Pinky promise: Recommendations are simply the best.
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