​Let’s Get Something Straight. A Simple Way to Get Better Photos

Ever get home after a trip or a night out, flip through your photos and realize that they’re all crooked. It’s bad enough for personal photos and even worse if you’re trying to get into the professional market.

Whether you take landscape photos, people, or both, having straight lines in your photos leads the viewer’s eye to your subject with fewer distractions.

 

 I don't take too many landscape photos these days, but they helped me see early on how much more pleasing the images could be.

I don't take too many landscape photos these days, but they helped me see early on how much more pleasing the images could be.

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...unlike this one of Lindsey and I in Australia. My eye immediately goes to all of the crooked horizon and coastlines in the background.

 Not only are we crooked, but the crooked lines in the background are distracting to the eye.   

Not only are we crooked, but the crooked lines in the background are distracting to the eye.

 

It's not always easy to tell when you're composing a photo which lines need to be straight and which don't. In this photo, the line in the sidewalk is slightly angled, but if I had composed for it then the rest of the scene would have looked tilted.

 

 It's not always clear which lines should be straight when you have so many, but focusing on the most dominant lines will help give a more pleasing look in the end.   

It's not always clear which lines should be straight when you have so many, but focusing on the most dominant lines will help give a more pleasing look in the end.

 

 Keeping straight lines straight goes for vertical and horizontal.

Keeping straight lines straight goes for vertical and horizontal.

So what can do you to help get straighter images? Practice. 

Take a walk around the neighborhood, or a 10 minute walk through your house and look for interesting, unique and most importantly, straight lines to photograph.

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Have fun with it, but take your time and compose your images carefully. Try 20 shots once a month. You'll be glad you did and before you know it you'll be noticing lines and angles everywhere you go...and your photos will thank you.