Easter’s right around the corner, and if you’re like most people, that means a day filled with dear friends, a dinner to rival Thanksgiving, and if kids or grandkids are in the picture, Easter baskets, Easter egg hunts, and maybe even a photo-op with the Easter Bunny himself.

On such a significant day, you’ll probably be trying to capture the highlights of it on film, likely via your smartphone camera.

While serious and professional photographers have learned from disciplined experience what makes for a great photo, even beginning photographers can dramatically increase the quality of their images by following a handful of simple guidelines.

These guidelines are often the difference between a picture that is lack-luster and one that is is eye-popping.

Observe the Rule of Thirds. The rule of thirds is perhaps the single most important guideline in composing an interesting photograph. While more visually sensitive and aesthetically inclined people have an intuitive “feel” for the rule of thirds and compose their photos accordingly, most people must be taught to recognize it.

In technical terms, the rule of thirds asserts that the image you are capturing should be envisioned as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines. Elements of peak interest (generally the subject of your photograph) should be situated along these lines or along intersections of these lines to generate maximum tension, energy and interest.

Here are a few examples to help you better imagine the rule of thirds. Once you get a feel for it and with a little practice, it will become second nature.

Don’t cut people off at the knees. When it comes to photography, this is more than just a metaphor. When photographing a person (or a group of people) who are standing, don’t end the lower margin of photo at their knees. (Or their ankles, waist, or chest, for that matter.) Unless you’re an experienced photographer with some real compositional moxie, if your subject is standing, you either want to include their entire body in the photo (with negative space above and below them) or capture them from about hip-level up.

Think about boosting your color. There’s a reason why we describe vivid hues as “Easter egg colors.” The celebration of Easter is simultaneously a celebration of spring and the brightly colored signs of it: impossibly pink cherry blossoms, cheerful yellow daffodils, friendly orange marigolds, lushly green grass, and vividly violet crocuses. If lighting conditions or other factors cause the colors in your photos to appear less vivid or even faded (or simply aren’t bright enough for your liking), use the color-editing function on your smartphone’s camera to boost the color and make your images even more “Eastery.”

Find and use your smartphone-camera’s time delay. Though you may not know it, unless your smartphone is over two years old, it’s almost certainly equipped with a time delay function. This function works exactly as the name suggests, allowing you to compose a photo with a delay – usually 10-15 seconds or so – before actually shooting. This is a particularly wonderful feature for holiday celebrations when the subject of photographs is most often the very friends or family who you’d ideally like to be in the picture with!

With all the beautiful sights and colors of the Easter season it’s not too hard to appreciate the gift of clear vision. At EyeCare 20/20, we’re full-service vision health providers who make it our business to help you see the world and all its color more clearly and comfortably. For any of your eye care needs from corrective eyewear to permanent vision correction to dry eye treatment, give us a call today and see why we’re known as being the friendliest, most comprehensive, and most advanced eye care providers around!

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