Photography is a craft that takes years to master. It is a learning process with many pitfalls. Just like many artistic endeavors, photography has its set of rules. Although the existence of bad photographs is debatable, there is a pretty ultimate consensus when it comes to separating amateur and great photography. There are, of course, a few rules of thumb to follow, but none as more fundamental as the rule on centering
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When horizon lines are placed in the middle of a photograph, it halves the picture in two. This is one of the most, if not the most, common mistake new photographers make. Viewers are sometimes confused by the image, wondering which half they should look at. The subject then becomes a topic of debate in their minds.
One of the first things taught to photography students is the Rule of Thirds, which is a sure-fire way to remedy any problems regarding centering. It states that horizon lines, even subjects should be on a line that divides the image into thirds.
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This applies to subjects as well. If you’re taking a picture of a person or an object, have them at them vertical “third” lines. If you’re confused which line to use, take two photographs and choose which one brings more out of the subject.