“Tips for better photos” should be a small series of articles that give you an insight into how I design and edit photos.

Today I would like to give you a few simple tips that will give your photos a more professional appearance without much additional effort.

In my article series, however, I assume some basics, such as the correct use of your own camera. If these are not yet available, I recommend the article by Jenny on 22places: Basics of photography

Today I want to start with the basics of image design .

1. Observe the rule of thirds when taking photos

Often the spot setting of the autofocus tempts you to place objects or motifs in the middle. A central placement, however, looks very static and artificial.

In order to make a photo look more lively and harmonious, the motif should not be placed in the middle. As a guide, there is the rule of thirds.

The rule of thirds describes, as the name suggests, the division of a photo into thirds. By aligning the main motif at the intersection of the thirds, an image should appear more balanced.

As an example, I have taken a photo of myself that complies with this rule and divided it up accordingly with white lines.

As you can see, the two boats (my main subject) are at an intersection of the white line. The division of sea and sky is also based on the rule of thirds. One third of the picture is taken up by the sea, the remaining part by the sky.

In the future, you should remember these white lines when taking pictures. Nowadays, many cameras also offer the option of showing such lines in the viewfinder or on the display.

Note: Place the main motif at one of the intersections and try to align the horizon with one of the thirds.

2. Align photos horizontally

In photo forums you get every photo that is not aligned horizontally, directly acknowledged with a stupid saying. The basis of every good photo should therefore be a straight horizon.

For this reason I have got used to paying attention to the horizontal alignment of the photos when taking pictures.

I often use the horizon itself as an orientation. Should this not be visible, I rely on my feelings or on the virtual horizon of my camera.

Virtual horizon Nikon D610 (C) Nikon

Virtual horizon Nikon D610 (C) Nikon

In freehand photography, it is often difficult to get a 100% straight image. That’s why I readjust a lot of my photos. This is pretty easy to do in Lightroom with the help of the Crop Overlay Tool .

In the previous image, the option to be selected is framed in red. There you can fine-tune the alignment of the photo by entering the angle.

And you see, by selecting the tool, the photo is divided by four lines. So you can also observe the rule of thirds when cropping your photos.

Note: A straight horizon is mandatory for professional photos.

I hope I was able to help you with my first “Tips for Better Photos” and motivate you to improve the quality of your next pictures!

Do you have any other tips that you should consider when building the image? Then let us know. We look forward to hints.

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