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Start Taking Better Pictures — 9 Quick & Easy Tips on Photographic Composition

Now that every single person in the entire world has some kind of smartphone, and every single smartphone in the entire world has some kind of superpowered camera built in, it seems like every single person in the entire world thinks he’s some kind of gifted photographer. This is not actually the case.

While our ever-improving phone cameras do make it easier to shoot that incredible mountain landscape you saw on your last vacation and the various Instagram filters can make it look that much nicer, that still doesn’t make it a high-quality photographic image. For that, you really need to know a thing or two about composition — i.e., the way the things in your picture are arranged.

Fortunately, the kind folks at the Cooperative of Photography have put together this fine instructional video to help all us amateurs out. Using the photos of Steve McMurry, they’ve isolated nine individual components of good composition. We’ll list them here, but you’ll have to watch the whole video to understand them:

  1. The Rule of Thirds
  2. Leading Lines
  3. Diagonals
  4. Framing
  5. Figure to Ground
  6. Fill the Frame
  7. Center Dominant Eye
  8. Patterns and Repetition
  9. Symmetry

Now get out there and start using that iPhone 6 Plus like it’s truly meant to be. Also, delete 90 percent of your Instagram. After watching this video, you won’t want to save that poorly framed, non-symmetrical crap anyway.

Here are a few examples of their tips in action:

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