That was my first time holding a semi proffesional camera. I used to take  lot of pictures and selfies on the phone, but this time is was different. First of all it wasn’t the smartphone that I used. Second, this time I knew some professional tricks and rules to make my photos stand out.

I was also intorduced to the works of one of the most amazing photographers, Steve McCurry.  So in this post I want to use some of his works and mine to evaluate the rules he uses that I followed as well.

Steve McCurry  is an American photographer who has worked in photojournalism and editorial. He is best known for his 1984 photograph “Afghan Girl”, which originally appeared in National Geographic magazine.


The Rule Of Thirds

The first rule for a great composition is the rule of trirds. You can see how the second photo has a table drawn. The lines devide the photo into sections. To make your composition balanced you should put the focused elements in the thirds of the whole place of the picture. It is even better if the vocal point can be placed in the intersections of those lines.

photo by Steve McCurry
Photo by Steve McCurry

In this photo form Steve McCurry’s travel to Afganistan he did a great job putting the man along the line as well as the bike. It’s perfectly aligned with the horizontal line on the bottom.

photo by Maryna Voievodina


I used the same rule in this picture I took in San Francisco. I put the couple on the motorcycle in the intersection of the lines. Eventhough red car is kind of steeling a little bit of spot light from them.

Leding Lines

The second technique is leading lines. This means that the diagonal lines on the photo lead to the main object of the image.

photo by Steve McCurry

In this photo of a man in Morocco McCurry used the lines of the wall to help the viewer follow them and bring focus to the man. It’s so simple, but it makes a great difference. We don’t need to wonder around the image trying to figure out what is the main object.

photo by Maryna Voievodina

I did the same with this picture I made in the library. The bookshelves lead perfectly to the chair. There are so many leading lines around! You just really have to look for it.

The Depth of the Field

photo by Steve McCurry

The last method to make your main object to stand out and be sharp is to add the depth. In this picture the boy is the main focus. His face is clear and you can see every detail, like every separate hair, blush on his cheeks, while the rest of the background looks blurry.

photo by Maryna Voievodina

In my picture I wanted to make the flowers the main point. I wanted it to draw attention to itself.  Notice how you can slightly see other plan on the background.


People tend to like organized photos more than those that have chaotic composition. The main rules of photography such as the Rule Of Thirds, Deapth of Field and Leading lines help make images balanced, well composed and attractive. You might say that the rules are there to break them, but I learned that rules in photography are there for you to become a great photographer. Try youreself and see the difference!



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