9 rules of a brilliant photo

No one knows the recipe of a masterpiece, but there are rules that will bring you closer to it.  Steve McCurry a recognized genius and author of National Geographic picture “Afghan girl” shares his secrets.  If to respect the basic principles of composition, anyone can get a beautiful picture.

Rule of Thirds

The basic principle behind the rule of thirds is to imagine breaking an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have 9 parts. Fit important parts of the composition along the lines, and the most important parts – at their intersection.

1 2 3 4

Leading lines

Use natural lines to focus the viewer.

5 6

Diagonal lines

Well-chosen lines give dynamism.

7 8


Use natural framework, such as windows and doors.

9 10

The ratio of figure and background

Find the contrast between the object and the background.

11 12

Fill the frame

Come closer to the one you’re shooting.

13 14

Dominant eye

Place the right or left eye in the center of the composition. This makes the look more expressive.

15 16

Patterns and repetition of images

Patterns are pleasant to look at, but it’s even better when the photographer interrupts these repetitions, adding an object for contrast.

17 18 19


Harmony of two halves is pleasant to the eye.

20 21


Photos by Steve McCurry