Improving Your Photography with 9 Basic Composition Techniques

There’s a lot to learn when you’re starting out in photography and one of the key areas to experiment with is that of composition techniques.

While some call these ‘rules’ for many they are simply things to get your head around so that you can make better choices while composing your images (either by using them or ignoring them).

This video – based upon the photography of Steve McCurry – looks at 9 such composition techniques that will be useful for those starting out (and maybe a few of us who are a bit further along). We’ve included links to tutorials on each of the techniques below the video.

Video Source: Cooph

Further Reading on the Composition Techniques Mentioned in The Video

We’ve touched on each of these techniques (and many more) in the archives of Digital Photography School. So if one of the techniques has piqued your interest – here’s where you can learn more.

1. The Rule of Thirds

rule of thirds

2. Leading Lines

leading lines

3. Diagonals


4. Framing


5. Figure to Ground

figure to ground

6. Fill the Frame

Fill the frame

7. Center Dominant Eye

dominant eye

We’ve not written specifically on this topic but will put the challenge to our authors. Here’s a short article on the topic for you in the mean time.

8. Patterns and Repetition


9. Symmetry


11 More Composition Techniques and Tutorials

There are loads more tutorials on different aspects of composition in our archives. Here’s just a few!

more information: 9 Composition Techniques to Use to Improve Your Photography – Digital Photography School


Entrepreneurs Are Using Emotional Intelligence in Marketing

Public Domain from pixabay
Entrepreneurs are successfully using a new approach these days…

Have you ever left your car for 15 minutes only to get back into the driver’s seat and notice an annoying flyer shoved under your window wiper? Like most of us, you probably pull it out, crumple it up and curse the litter-inducing ad ninjas who targeted you.

Unfortunately, digital marketing is beginning to resemble this same irritating chain of events. With increased technology, many digital marketers are desperately targeting and re-targeting potential customers in all the wrong places — and it’s making them mad.

Indeed, a recent study showed almost 50 percent of consumers think their brands are clueless about how to reach them. Another study found that only one in three customers believe their favorite brands truly understand them.

I have found that the solution to this problem is emotional intelligence: it’s about being real, authentic and intuitive. Emotional intelligence helps me run a more profitable business. And I believe it’s time for marketing enterprises to implement these same skills.

Related: Here Are 12 Must-Use Apps for Marketers

I have found that deploying Emotional Intelligence in your digital marketing is a lot more intuitive than you might suspect. It’s simple and most of the time, boils down to common sense.  Here’s how to implement this tactic: what works for me:

1. Listen deeply

Before investing in digital media, use any number of social listening tools such as Topsy, Hootsuite and Social Mention to understand what your audience is passionate about. You would never barge into a dinner party and hijack the conversation, so why would you want your brand to be perceived as doing the same thing via digital marketing? By listening to what people care about, you can formulate your strategy of how best to do the next four recommended steps below.

2.  Add value first

Find ways to add value rather than simply pushing your own agenda. If you are coming from a place of giving rather than taking, then you will naturally be inclined to help the people you are looking to serve with your products or services. Adding value is about finding ways to enhance and improve the lives of the customers you’d like to acquire and retain. Sure, you can argue that this is the ultimate purpose of your product or service but before anyone wants to buy from you, they first need to understand who you are, what you represent and why they should invest in your brand. In order to accomplish this, they have to get to know you. Make it easy for them to want to get to know you by finding ways to add value before you ask for the sale.

Related: Effective Marketers Sell to Customers on Both the Product and the Brand

3. Attraction beats distraction

Focus on desire and the laws of attraction to draw your audience in rather than trying to interrupt and distract them. No one likes to be “sold” but everyone loves to buy. Become an expert storyteller. Think beyond the features and benefits of what you’re selling. What does your company and brand stand for? How are you making the world a better place in some small but important way?

4. Don’t be creepy

Yes, you can leverage big data to learn a lot about your audience but there is a fine line between insightful and creepy. If you feel you may be crossing the line, you probably are (even if it’s not illegal to do so). Instead, think about the ways you can be insightful and surprise and delight your audience rather than creeping them out by how much you know about them and their habits.

For example, many people use Epicurious to seek out great cooking recipes and many of those people have downloaded their app. With big data and iBeacon technology, marketers can identify the best customers who might be interested in Mexican food, for example, and send them an alert while they are shopping at their favorite grocery store. As long as you’ve opted in to receive alerts from Epicurious and actually like the food that is being recommended, this should be a positive experience – especially if you are an “explorer” and like to discover new and interesting foods to prepare at home.

5. Respect when retargeting

Frequency is important, but you can go overboard with your retargeting. Balance awareness goals with annoyance risks. Think about retargeting in terms of dating. Just because someone went out on a date with you doesn’t mean they want to marry you. No one likes being hounded. Respect the fact that not everyone you want to sell to is ready to buy from you.

In addition to growing your business faster, using these emotionally intelligent strategies will ensure you are connecting with the right emotionally intelligent customers who will, in turn, help you grow faster. After all, the right customers that buy from you for the right reasons will ensure right relations and attract more of the right customers in the future.

Related: 5 Ways Data Can Enhance Marketing Campaigns

more information: 5 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Use Emotional Intelligence for Marketing


Why Microchip Your Pet


Now a days, we consider our pets an integral part of the family showing pictures of them as often as pictures of our children or grandchildren.


About 10 million pets go missing or are stolen each year, according to the American Humane Association. Pet owners’ best defense against this is microchipping, which is a simple procedure done at the vet. Both cats and dogs can be easily microchipped for about a $50 fee. Home Again, a prime source for microchipping needs and information, currently has more than six million pets enrolled in its program and boasts that more than one million pets have been returned home because of its services. If those numbers aren’t enough evidence that microchipping is a good idea, check out the list of seven more reasons below.

  1. It hurts your pet very little. Getting microchipped is as simple as getting a vaccination. It probably hurts about as much as it does when we get shots.
  2. It’s a simple procedure. The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is inserted into a soft area on the back. Easy and simple.
  3. It could save your pet’s life. If your pet is lost or stolen, having a microchip could be the key to bringing Fido back home. If someone finds and takes your pet in to get scanned, you’ll be reunited in no time.
  4. It’s your proof of ownership. If your pet is stolen and ends up getting scanned somewhere, your information will pop up, as long as you’ve registered the chip with the database. It’s a quick way for your stolen pet to be returned to you.
  5. If you have an outdoor pet, it will put your mind at ease. Some people, myself included, let their animals roam around outside. I recently got my cat microchipped because of that. I used to let him out to wander around while I was at work, and I realized that someone could easily pick my boy up and take him (especially because he’s the friendliest cat you’ll ever meet), so I got him microchipped. I feel better knowing if he wanders off or if something happens, he can hopefully be brought in and returned to me.
  6. It’s a onetime deal. Once the chip is inserted, it’ll stay there and be viable for your pet’s lifetime. So that makes it a onetime fee for the insertion. (There’s a small yearly membership fee, but if it helps you reunite with your pet, it’s all worth it.)
  7. A collar and tag will only go so far. A collar or tag can easily fall off or be removed. A microchip isn’t going anywhere.

For more information on microchipping your pets, go to Home Again or call your local vet.

for more information: 7 Reasons to Microchip Your Pets


Dealing with the Rainbow Bridges in Our Lives

Dealing with the Rainbow Bridges in Our Lives is an article written by a veterinarian who has experienced the saddnesses first-hand and knows the grief and loss associated with this final call


Life is weird in lots of way. Things happen for a reason, and you have to kind of be open to what life’s going to throw at you because you certainly aren’t going to expect most of it. Even the good stuff. Especially the good stuff, which is often hidden in bad stuff.

When I go to a house for a euthanasia, people invariably say one of two things:

1. This must be so hard.

2. I wish we had this for people.

The answer to both is “I agree.” The interesting part is that they co-exist.

Lots of things we deal with in life are rotten: losing an eyeball, I imagine, would be hard. Crawling through the Amazonian rainforest naked and afraid with no water. Chaperoning a group of fifth graders on an overnight field trip on a boat you can’t escape from. All of them hard, and none of them leading me to say, “gee, I wish I could replicate this experience for my family and loved ones.”

Death is hard. It can also, in certain circumstances, be good. Not always. Sometimes deaths are horrible and tragic and cruel, and when we see that we fear it, and forget that many times it can also be meaningful and loving and bittersweet. We need to cherish those experiences to give us the strength for the times it is not. We need to learn that we can talk about it and lean on each other and be there, really be there, in every way we can.

This is what I do as a hospice vet, and while it is very true that this is in my opinion the best way for a pet to experience death, I have found the ones who benefit the most from the experience are the people, not only for their pet but for their whole idea of what death is about.


Pets don’t know what death is or that it is coming. The fear they exhibit in the clinic euthanasia appointment is fear of the clinic thermometer, because when I go into a home to euthanize a pet I cannot tell you how many very ill pets look up, give me a wag and a lick, and in essence signal to their families that they are ready. It’s quite stunning to see.

When I submitted a talk for Ignite San Diego titled “I’m the Angel of Death, Now Gimme Your Kids” I think I freaked out a good 95% of the attending audience who had no idea who I was or why I wanted to steal their dumplings. By the end, though, I think they all realized that no, really- it’s a good thing to learn to move forward without fear. Pets teach us so much, from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave us. Yes, even then, if we are open to seeing it.

If you want to hear me sum it up in 5 minutes on the nose, here’s the link:

for more information: Two things people always say when a pet dies at home and other DeathLord lessons


Perfect Vision Secrets Revealed


human eye

An optometrist from British Columbia believes he’s invented the holy grail of corrective lenses: A device that lets you see “three times better than 20/20 vision” without wearing any contacts or glasses at all — for an entire lifetime.

Dr. Garth Webb is the founder and CEO of Ocumetics Technology Corp, a company dedicated to eliminating glasses and contact lenses forever. Webb and his team of visual scientists have invented the “Ocumetics Bionic Lens,” which is the product of eight years of research and $3 million in funding, plus a load of internationally filed patents, according to the Canadian Press.

The Ocumetics Bionic Lens looks like a small button, but Webb believes it has the power to revolutionize eye care as we know it.

“Perfect eyesight should be a human right,” Webb told CBC News.

According to Ocumetics’ website, the Bionic Lens is implanted in your eye during an eight-minute “painless procedure.” The operation is reportedly similar to cataract surgery, where the lens inside your eye is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. It’s an outpatient procedure that doesn’t require any anesthesia or an overnight stay.

The bionic lens is actually folded like a taco and placed in the eye using a syringe filled with a saline solution. Then, in about 10 seconds, the bionic lens unravels over your eye by itself and your sight is “immediately corrected.”

“If you can just barely see the clock at 10 feet, when you get the Bionic Lens, you can see the clock at 30 feet away,” Webb said.

Webb says his bionic lenses give you vision that’s three times better than 20/20 vision, as measured by the Snellen chart for visual acuity. We’ve reached out to Webb to learn more about the visual improvements with regards to accuracy and range.

It’s still unclear how the technology actually works, but Webb says the Bionic Lens is perfectly safe, and it won’t cause any biophysical changes within the eye.

This has other benefits, too. Anyone who gets this bionic lens surgically implanted would never get cataracts, since the eye’s natural lenses, which are prone to decay, would have been replaced with these artificial ones. And this is much safer than laser surgery, which involves burning away healthy corneal tissue and also results in other complications, like problems with glare and trouble driving at night. Webb’s solution has none of these issues; the quality of your vision will always be perfect, and it will not deteriorate over time.

Webb showed off his bionic lens to 14 top ophthalmologists in mid-April during an annual conference dedicated to cataracts and refractive surgery. He said the surgeons were impressed, and some will assist in future clinical trials.

The bionic lens will first be tested on animals and then blind human eyes before Webb seeks regulatory approval in Canada and other various countries.

The first Ocumetics Bionic Lens could be available as soon as 2017, but it will only be an option for people over the age of 25 since eye structures aren’t fully formed until that age.

SEE ALSO: This insane virtual reality theme park lets you fight dragons and fly spaceships

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NOW WATCH: What It’s Like To Be Among The First People In The World To Have A Bionic Eye

for more info see: This insane device promises perfect vision for the rest of your life