Ten Tips for Making Interesting Images

1.) Employ The Rule of Thirds

Images are more interesting if the interesting bits are not in the center.

Unconsciously, we want to put the thing of interest in the center. But it’s more interesting if we don’t. One major exception is faces. Faces are always interesting no matter where they are in the frame but bigger is usually better.

2.) Try Variations in Scale

Small things and big things are often more interesting together than all small things or all big things.

3.) Spice Up Your Landscapes

Similarly, if you want to make a far away scene more interesting, try including an object in the foreground.

4.) Light it Up

All we see, in the end, is light and a strong light source is often interesting in and of itself.

5.) Vary Your Mark

The eye has more to look at when we use different marks (or textures) in an image.

6.) Play the Odds

Three is better than four and five is better than six. For some reason, odd numbered groupings are more interesting than even.

7.) Watch Your Edges!

Be aware of your subject(s) in relation to the edges of the frame, canvas or screen. Often a little breathing room makes for better feng shui.

8.) Look Out for Vibrating Color

Complementary colors, (colors on opposite sides of the color wheel) are exciting together.

Warm and cool also make for interesting color relationships.

9.) Start with Heart

Pay attention to what excites you. Is it the shape of the thing? Is it the color relationships? Is it the way the light is casting shadows? If you make an image in service of what is interesting to you, others will find it interesting, too.

10.) Test it Upside Down

As a final test, turn your image on its head. If it is interesting upside down you can be pretty sure it’s working right side up, too!

Extra special thanks to Scott Boms for moral and tactical support while printing this little book at the Facebook Analog Lab.