For those who are just starting out with a camera most of the focus is usually on learning the camera and how it works. After some knowledge is gained, they might move on to how to take a sharper picture, or what kind of glass brings the best shots. It isn't until you get a little further down the learning path that folks get to composition.
Why is composition important? It's a good portion of what will set you apart from others and make your photo stand out above the crowd. It offers the viewer a different perspective in many cases, and brings to life a subject that may just be considered mundane.
How can you help your composition? As much as I don't like this term, you need to think outside the box. Lower yourself to the ground to get perspective on blades of grass, take a corner angle on an old barn, put an old tree in the foreground. If your first instinct is to take a picture standing straight up, stop for a second and look around and you might find a different view.
In the example below, I have a photo of a storm that is a really nice image, there isn't really anything to draw the eye to.
In the following photo of the same storm, I found a small group of pink Coneflowers that would serve as my foreground subject which gives emphasis to the size and strength of the storm behind it.
As you can see, the flowers really speak in the photo and all it took was a little bending and working with the moving flowers to capture just the right moment.
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