The rule of thirds is a great beginner composition tool that’s used by experts as well. It’s where the subject of the photo is aligned with an intersection of a 3 x 3 grid in frame. What you put at the intersection of those grids determines where the viewer’s eye goes and what aesthetic your image may have. Align a subject with one of the lower crosshairs to emphasise them in relation to the space around them. Put your subject along one vertical line to showcase height.
Another great composition tool is the use of negative space. Negative space is the area in and around your subject. When you’re first learning to shoot, try framing your subject on backgrounds that are stark, like a blue horizon or a night sky. Besides being interesting to look at, it will also help you refine some other techniques as you focus on your subject without worrying about the surrounding environment.
Understanding compelling compositions can really set your work apart. Great photos come from a viewer’s eye that is well developed. What is important to you about the work you are photographing? What is the concept, idea or theme you want to convey to a viewer? Once you have a sense of that question and its answer, you can begin to refine your efforts.
Framing and timing
When and how you take your shot matters. If you’re photographing a horse, what do you want a viewer to see? You can capture images in different ways to showcase athleticism, put a focus on the physical beauty or emphasise the strength of the animal. If you want the athletic horse, compose your images to show a horse at gallop. If you choose a more panoramic approach, you can place the horse in its environment, juxtaposing it against the beauty surrounding it.
You can also use natural light at golden hour or shadows at different times of day to change the feeling of a photo — the same horse at dusk will produce a different aesthetic than one under a hot desert sun.
Enhance aesthetic photography with clever editing.
If you want to enhance your aesthetic further, you can do so in photo editing apps. Explore Adobe Lightroom tools to find ideal ways to hone your personal style. Colour adjustments and filters are a great place to begin.