Rule of Thirds
Some cameras and photo apps include an overlay resembling a field for playing tic-tac-toe. This “grid” is necessary as it applies the so-called “golden rule”, or the rule of thirds. The main mistake novice photographers make is they place the main object in the center of the frame. The rule of thirds requires a specific arrangement of compositionally important elements in the most convenient parts of the picture. The grid on the screen breaks the frame into equal thirds both vertically and horizontally. The main subjects of the image are located at the points of intersection of thirds, or on their lines. Moving important elements of the composition to these points and lines helps focus attention on the main subject, making the composition more interesting than placing the subject in the center, as it allows the viewer’s eye to travel around the frame and holds their attention for longer. This principle works in all frame orientations – both horizontal and vertical.
Never use the digital zoom on your camera unless you absolutely need to. Unlike using optical zoom, digital zoom simply zooms in on the image the lens provides, which means the quality is severely lost and the original image becomes blurred. Instead, move closer to the subject, or move the object closer to you. And in general, try to move more when choosing the best angle.
Blurred photos are often taken by those who prefer to hold the device with their hands fully extended, or even in one hand.
To avoid this, hold your smartphone with two hands! Try to keep it close to your body. Press your elbows against your body and hold the phone in front of your face at a distance of about 30 centimeters. You can add stability by leaning against a fixed object such as a wall or tree. Your breathing may be an important factor in stabilising the picture. Think about how snipers hold their breath before they shoot. Stay calm and take a deep breath ⎼ hold it, take a picture and exhale.
The best pictures never come directly from the camera. Exposure, color correction, and white balance settings are too complicated for your smartphone’s miniature optics. You probably already have an image editor built into your camera, or maybe you have one in the gallery. With this editor, you can trim or resize the picture and adjust color to make the image “warmer” or “cooler”. If that’s not possible with your camera, you can always use Google Play, which has dozens of apps where you can edit images and apply different effects.