9 Rules for Taking the Perfect Photograph

There’s no easy way to produce a photographic masterpiece. However, there are certain rules which can bring you closer to one. Steve McCurry, an acknowledged genius behind the lens who has worked for National Geographic and who took the famous ’Afghan girl’ photo, knows them all. Using examples of his own work, he demonstrates that, provided you stick to the fundamental principles of composition, you can take a beautiful shot easily enough.


01. Dominant eyes

Place the right or left eye at the centre of the composition. This gives the impression that the subject’s eyes are following you.

Dominant eyes2 Dominant eyes3

02. The rule of thirds

Place important parts of the shot along lines, and the most important parts at the points where these lines intersect.

The rule of thirds 1 The rule of thirds 2 The rule of thirds 3 The rule of thirds 4

03. Diagonal lines

Correctly chosen diagonal lines give dynamism to the picture.

Diagonal lines1 Diagonal lines2