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If you want to take better pictures, you need to change your mindset. Rather than thinking “I am taking a picture,” you need to instead think “I am composing an image.” Rather than just snapping photos, you need to think a little bit about your subjects and the area when your digital camera shoots. If you do, your photos will come out much better.

Now, you might think that that’s easier said than done, but it’s not. You just need a couple tricks, and then it’ll be easy. Here are a few things to keep in mind when your digital camera shoots.

The Rule of Thirds.

Before your digital camera shoots, imagine there’s a three by three grid laid over it. This grid divides the viewfinder into nine equal sections, giving you a good frame for when your digital camera shoots. The key is to place the subject so that it’s only partially in the middle square, just off-center.

Pay Attention to the Horizon Line.

While you’re using the rule of thirds, put the horizon line along one of the two horizontal lines when your digital camera shoots. This isn’t a hard rule that must strictly be followed, but it is a good trick you can use to balance the composition.

Don’t Forget About Your Back- and Fore-Ground.

Your subject is obviously the most important part of your shot, but you can’t neglect the back- and the fore-ground when your digital camera shoots. The key is to subtract any elements that do not contribute to the composition, and to position your shot so that the background elements create movement towards your subject, which means that the natural, geometric lines of what’s in the background should slope towards your subject.

You don’t need the big, fancy, expensive gear online digital camera stores sell to take great pictures. You just need to be a bit savvy, and use these tricks to compose your shot. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.