Rule of Thirds
In order to make use of this one, you will need to see the image you are about to take as having 9 equal segments. Imagine that the segments have been divided by two horizontal and as many vertical lines. Now that you can visualize it in your mind, try to place the important parts of the picture where the points intersect. This will make the picture come out more balanced.
The Golden Ratio
The golden ratio might sound confusing but it really isn’t. Just as you used the first rule to divide your picture into thirds, you will have to do some visualizing for this one as well. This time, the scene is to be seen as divided into 1: 1.618 sections. In easy words, close to 3/8ths of the lines will fall in the upper and lower parts of the frame. This will leave 2/8ths of the lines that will be concentrated in the centre. Many classical works of art have been designed by using the golden ratio, difficult as it may be to understand.
Horizon Line Placement
Except for when you are shooting a reflection, the best arrangement for the placement of the horizon line is above or below the middle of the frame. If you have been taking pictures where the horizon line falls right in the center of the image, then that might need to change. When shooting a reflection shot, you can follow your old approach and keep the horizon in the center of the image. This will result in equal division of the elements between the upper and lower parts of the scene surrounding the reflection. If for instance, you were taking a picture of a landscape, then placing the horizon line nearer to the top would work. Alternatively, you can also try placing it closer to the bottom and see if that works better.
Leave Out the Rest
For the perfect photo composition, there is one important decision that you will need to make every time. Think which of the elements you will be including within the shot and which you will be leaving out. This is necessary in terms of deciding how well the elements that make the cut relate to each other. If they don’t jive, then you will be better off taking them out. As far as composition is concerned, crowding a picture by filling it with multiple points of interest will not result in a good photograph. Instead, be selective and leave out the rest and you might end up with a photograph that is dramatic but simply composed.
While following the rule of thirds may work in some situations, it won’t be the right choice for every photograph. At times, following that rule could end in an interesting but emptier-looking photo. Thus, if you think that the weight of your subject is not matching the weight of other objects within a scene, then you will need to add in other things to fill the space.
Just as the rule of thirds won’t work every time, so would the golden ratio. If your image contains diagonals, then you would be better off with a golden triangle. In order to make use of this technique, you will have to split the image diagonally. The next thing you need to do is draw a line extending from one corner in a way that it meets the first diagonal line at a right angle. The objects that are part of your photograph should thus be falling inside the triangles that you just made.
Ruling the Odd one Out
One of the simpler ideas, this technique resembles the rule of thirds. It is thought that images containing an odd number of elements are more pleasing to the eye than ones with an even number of things. When we look at an image, our eyes tend to gravitate towards the middle, if it features a group of subjects. That means, if your picture ends up with a void in it right in the center, then that is where your viewer’s eye will travel.
Not Adhering to the Previous Rule
It has been mentioned before that you should not adhere to the rules mentioned here. In fact, it is best to consider them as guides and try fitting the right one into each picture you take. That means, there will be photographs where you will need to leave some space. In order to make that happen in the right way, think of your frame as a box. Now that you have a box, you will be filling it with your subject. Now, you don’t want to overstuff the box or it will overflow. Therefore, sometimes you will need a bigger box so that your subject has some space to move. This will be necessary if you are photographing a subject who is in motion. There are pictures where the subject is looking at something on/off-camera. If that is the case, then leaving some white space i.e. part of the frame where nothing is happening, will make for a better photograph.