Most people prefer vacations to work. Maybe that’s why folks take so many pictures when they’re in the great outdoors and hardly any at the office.
Let’s see… does a picture of a cool, clean waterfall or a shot of a stapler make you feel better? Even the world’s most beautiful stapler is pretty dull, photographically speaking.
So you want to get your photos right. Your soul depends on it.
Among the most basic rules in photography is the “rule of thirds.” Here’s how it works. Imagine your camera frame cut in thirds horizontally and vertically. You end up with a three-by-three grid that has four axes. According to the rule of thirds, you place your subject, or point of interest, at one of those axes. The rule of thirds is so well-accepted that many cameras will display the grid in the viewfinder.
Although it depends on the subject, a perfectly centered subject usually leads to a dull photo. It’s too static and balanced. There’s no hint of movement or direction, so it’s unlikely to yield an interesting, dynamic image.
If you were taking a picture of the end of a watermelon or the top of a tomato, of course, that’d be different. You might want the subject precisely centered. But waterfalls aren’t tomatoes, so the approach needs to be different.
Another thing… when you place the subject at the given axis, consider the natural movement of the subject. You want people, for example, looking into rather than out of frame. And you want more space before, say, someone riding a bicycle than behind the cyclist, unless your intent is to show the completion of the journey. In that case, it’d make more sense to have more space behind the cyclist.