First camera crash course: simple solutions for mastering your new DSLR

First camera crash course: simple solutions for mastering your new DSLR

First Camera Crash Course Lesson 9: Using the Rule of Thirds

Try to avoid simply placing your subject slap-bang in the middle of your frame. By placing the focal point of your scene off-centre, along imaginary lines roughly one-third and two-thirds into the frame, you’ll create a much more balanced and pleasing composition.

First Camera Crash Course Lesson 9: Using the Rule of Thirds

Too central

  • Placing horizons in the middle of your frame will create an unbalanced and boring image
  • As it stands, the sky and sea have equal weighting in the shot

 

First Camera Crash Course Lesson 9: achieve better balance

Better balance

  • By moving the horizon down so it is not  dead centre creates a more dynamic composition
  • Don’t be afraid to include more sky than land (or water) in your shot – particularly if the sky looks colourful

Final tip
Every keen amateur should own a decent tripod as it lets you have more control over depth of field and shutter speed, and will help ensure consistent results.

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Rule of Thirds: use it and break it with confidence
Crop photos the right way: classic mistakes and how to avoid them
Photography Basics: the No. 1 cheat sheet for metering and exposure
Frame within a frame: composition tricks for adding depth and context

First Camera Crash Course Lesson 10: Anatomy of your viewfinder

Your viewfinder is a powerful tool for composition, but if you’re new to using one it might look a little confusing. Our cheat sheet below illustrates some of the key elements within your viewfinder and explains what they are and what they do.

First Camera Crash Course Lesson 10: Anatomy of your viewfinder

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