If you want to take better photos, one of the first things to work on, before buying lighting and fancy gear, is your composition. Photographer Simon Ellingworth shared this trick to get you thinking about how you can better compose your photos: set your camera or phone’s self-timer to 10 seconds, then line up your shot.
The goal is to get you thinking about composition, but only so much that you have a deadline and still have to actually take a photograph. The self-imposed ten second countdown forces you to set up your photo quickly, but you’ll probably still have a second or two near the end you can use to think again, see if there are any changes you could make, and make them before the timer goes off. Use those last few seconds to adjust your phone or camera to get a better shot. Ellingworth describes the process like this:
You’ll now have a few extra seconds before the shutter clicks to have a second look at your existing composition & more importantly chance to adjust it.
Move your device around little, can you move your horizon or subject to exploit the rule of thirds. Can you get closer or lower?
He notes that for its simplicity, it’s a great way for any photographer to think about the shots they’re taking, especially with static subjects. Over time you’ll start to retrain your eye and shoot with composition in mind. Best of all, this trick works with any type of camera—your expensive DSLR, affordable point-and-shoot, or the camera on your smartphone. Hit the link below for Ellingworth’s full lesson on the principles of photo composition.
Composition…The 10 Second Rule | Lightism