Part of the "Breaking The Compositional Rules" Challenge
Others taking part can be found here: http://forum.pbase.com/viewtopic.php?t=24861
Tips for beginners:
Hold your camera at the main object's level.
Taking a picture from above or below brings into the photo, an element of exertion.
Ordinarily, the main source of light should be placed behind you.
To take a picture with the light between you and the object is the task for a specialist.
Use a dark background for taking a picture of a light object, or, alternatively,
a light background for doing so of a dark object.
Note though, that the absolutely white background causes flare effect
that leads to reducing the contrast of a taken picture.
When the main object of an image is located on the long shot,
the whole image will look better if the foreground objects will be taken into the image as well.
A space in a shot should be reserved in front of an actually or potentially moving object.
The Rule Of Thirds:
This is a principle taught in graphic design and photography
and is based on the theory that the eye goes naturally to a point about two-thirds up the page.
Also, by visually dividing the image into thirds (either vertically or horizontally)
you achieve the informal or asymmetric balance mentioned above.
Don't be afraid of breaking rules!
As Edward Weston said, "Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph
is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk."