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Great Creative Scrapbooks Start with Taking Better Pictures
Scrapbooking at its essence is really about storytelling, but with a visual and tactile, rather than oral, focus. Scrapbooking is also a method for preserving a legacy or history in the form of photographs, printed media, and memorabillia contained in decorated albums, or scrapbooks. The tremendous growth of the Internet has resulted in more creative scrapbook approaches as well as online scrapbooks. The digital photography revolutions has been accompanied by an explosion in creative scrapbook ideas.
It's true-you can make a beautiful scrapbook with less than perfect pictures. However, if you learn to make the most of your photography, you will find that you spend less time working on embellishing a page because the pictures will speak for themselves. Digital cameras make it easy to delete blurry or otherwise bad shots, but you may not get the second chance to capture your infant's precious smile or your pet's latest antic. Be armed with your camera at all times, and keep a few tried and true rules in your head to take shots that will stun.
There is no wrong way to scrapbook. Typically, the more creative and resourceful the person, the better the page. The main focus of each page should be the picture(s) or the letter or whatever is the most important to the creator. If you are interested in starting to digital scrapbook, or incorporate digital techniques with traditional scrapbooking, there are a myriad of Web resources available.
This is the most talked about photography technique, and once the mystery is taken away, you will find that it is also one of the simplest ways to separate good shots from breath-taking ones. The initial concept is simple. Imagine you have drawn a tic-tac-toe board in the frame. Therefore, you have two lines running vertically and two lines running horizontally, intersecting at four points. Your initial urge is probably to center an image-and this sometimes proves to be the best option-but the four points of intersection are what professional photographers refer to as "sweet spots." Our eyes are naturally drawn to these places on a page, so when the main points of a subject matter, such as your cat's face, fall on one of these spots, the picture looks more appealing and balanced. If you cannot capture this perfectly, you can always crop your photograph when you scrapbook to help your picture adhere to the rule of thirds. Remember that you don't always have to stick to this rule, but it may help you find your shot.
The rule of thirds is not the only composition trick that photographers use to create beautiful photographs. A lot has to do with subject matter. Every picture has a background and foreground, but if you cut most of that out and fill the frame with your subject matter you will usually have a much better picture. Also, look at the lines in a picture. This is especially helpful with a landscape shot, because by placing the horizon on one of the lines you created with the rule of thirds, you will have a much more effective shot. Diagonal lines should be used to create interest. For example, railway tracks cutting across the frame and leading your eye through the sweet spots will give you a better shot.
Lastly look at color. This is important even in black and white photographs. Make sure that the light and dark colors are balanced. By doing this when you take the picture, you will be able to create better pages that are coordinated to match your photographs, and by following the other tips your will be able to create better pages in general.
About the Author: Michael Saunders edits a site on Creative Scrapbook Ideas and is president of Information Organizers, LLC.