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How to take better photos using framing grids in Nokia Camera

With Nokia Camera, you can change a lot of camera settings like white balance, focus, ISO, shutter speed, and brightness to take the perfect photo, but all of that don't matter if you don't pay attention to framing or composition. Fortunately, Nokia Camera provides framing grids that you can activate within the settings. We'll teach you how to turn them on and how you can use them to improve your photos.

  1. To get started, turn on Nokia Camera.
  2. Click the three dots on the lower right corner or the top right corner depending on how you're holding the camera.
  3. Tap settings.
  4. Framing grids is the second option. You can choose rule of thirds, golden ratio, crosshairs, or square.

So now that you know how to activate the framing grids, how exactly do you use them? Let's explain each one.

Rule of Thirds

The basic idea of the rule of thirds is to divide an image into thirds both horizontally and vertically. This creates lines, which helps you place your subjects. Placing subjects along the lines or where they intersect theoretically creates a better image than placing the subjects in dead center of the frame.

Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio framing grid in Nokia Camera looks similar to the rule of thirds but the placement of the lines is a little different. According to DPS, instead of breaking into 3 equal parts (1+1+1), sections are broken down into 1 + 0.618 + 1. The idea comes from famous mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci. He noticed this ratio appears often throughout nature and forms designs that are pleasing to the human eye. It's a very interesting theory and there are several resources online that go more in-depth.

Just like the rule of thirds, place the main subjects or points of interests at the intersecting lines or along the lines. If it's a portrait photo, place one of the eyes at an intersection.

FYI, the Golden Ratio appears in the Mona Lisa.

Crosshairs

The crosshairs grid consists of two lines that intersect right in the middle. We rarely use this grid, but it can be helpful in aligning the horizon or putting subjects directly in the middle.

Square

If you intend to share your photo on Instagram, the square framing grid is really handy. This ensures your subjects fit inside the 1:1 ratio when you upload it to the popular social network.

Do you use framing grids?

You're going to see improvements in your photos right way when you use the rule of thirds or the golden ratio. The main idea is placing your subjects a little off the center of the frame produces better results than having them directly in the middle. If you combine these guidelines with the advanced controls that Nokia Camera provides, you can come up with some amazing photos.

Have you been using framing grids in Nokia Camera? Which grid do you use the most? Are you happy with the results? Let us know in the comments!

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

95 Comments
  • Nokia Camera, the Best. (PS. First comment, yesss)
  • Well now this article is quite a good one....if only I could give it a thumbs up
  • Ye, emoji does not work :( agree, this is a good article!
  • Mark, Excellent article! Would also love to see you do a short video and post around usage/best-practises in using Nokia Camera! Take care and keep these articles coming!
  • So If I replied your comment,does that make me a third commenter or that doesn't count???
    Lol.
  • Oh stfu xD
  • Thanks for this. I never knew what they were for.
  • Ya me too,,,
  • Thanks, me three...! (ruled the three! :D )
  • +1520
  • Awesome Mark. Great guide.  I don't use the grid but I will try them out now that I have a kick start.
  • I use the grids all the time.
  • +1520
  • Nokia camera ïs really a good gift...
  • Sure square
  • Thank you very much for this article. I was just wondering about this option a couple of days ago. Very useful
  • Use rules of thirds. Never zoom before taking photo. I personally use the grid to compose the reframe or do zooming after taking the photo. It does work for me.
  • Yup, love that we can reframe our shots later on in case we need to take the shots right away. I used the rule of thirds for so long, but have become intrigued with the Golden Ratio recently.
  • Going to try Golden Ratio.
  • Yea I've also only been shooting in rule of thirds but feeling that same enticement to try out that mysterious golden ratio LoL, very good article @Mark_Guim ... Is that your girlfriend and dog? She's cute ;)
  • I like the golden ratio as well.
  • I suggest looking into more examples of the golden ratio, or what many call the golden mean. It isn't about lining it up to the grid, or the intersections, but how you fill the areas. The Mona Lisa for example, I see that one example in image search, puts the grid through her eyes, but the rest of the examples use the area within the grid to show the interesting areas. Don't think of the grid as intersections to draw you attention, but dividers for framed interests in the composition. With a quick search, this page is a decent example on how one could fill the grid with interesting areas. http://desource.uvu.edu/dgm/2740/IN/steinja/lessons/03/l03_03.html
  • me too i have been using the rule of third, now im excited to try this golden ratio.
  • I usually use rule of thirds in my Lumia but without the grids. I just calculate it myself.
  • Yeah :)
  • I use rule of thirds most of the time.
  • Same!!!  
  • All the way! It makes photos instantly better, better feel to it. But okay I study photography. I advice you all to use them as much as possible, depending on what you shot of course. It's just the simple rules of perfection. It makes better impact on our brains or something
    :P I also recommend ProShot Need a like button for this article :)
  • Nice gonna try this out, I've never use grids before so this would be good for the picture challenge.
  • Yes, I use grids :)
  • I don't use Nokia camera but the same rules apply for ProShot. Ever since I started using framing grids in PS, I can't shoot without them. I took a pic of a narrow walkway tunnel the other day and ProShot's grids helped me line it up perfectly.
  • Square is the only one I have used. Used it accidentally and found it suitable for dp's. Was wondering what the others are. Thanks for this great one Mark.
  • I recollect wpcentral had an article about the framing grids and rule of thirds sometime last year, that's when i actually understood why it's even there
  • Crosshairs, all the time.
  • I use the square to see if my picture will fit with the Instagram resolution
  • Awesome..this goes right in my offline reading list. Great tip, thanks. :)
  • I never tried offline reading ,does it save article alone for offline reading or the article and syncs comments in background too for offline reading also?
  • No the comments aren't saved, all you'll see is couldn't fetch comments. :)
    The article is just there easily accessible, better than doing the search and trying to remember the keywords :)
  • Sometimes it's a good thing that comments aren't loaded lol
  • Nice info!
  • Yes I do use rule of thirds.
  • I use The Rule of Thirds. Check out this page
    www.facebook.com/lumiamagic
  • Thanks for this information, really educative
  • Very useful guide. Finally I know what are grids for.
  • Use them as well. Great guide.. Ps. Is living images available on the Lumia 925? I do have cyan and 8.1
  • Golden Ratio comes from Pythagoras. And Euklides was the first one to actually write a definition of golden ratio. Both ancient Greeks. Nothing to do with the app, but please get it right when you use historical facts.
  • Snap!!!
  • I don't know if that was good or bad. But facts are facts. And if we want to enrich our articles with historical facts, we should get them straight. Would love to see the article corrected.
  • Btw, the article is very nice and helpful!
  • Very nice
  • To me, the nost intriguing one is the golden ratio grid. It brings a certain harmony to the photos, at least in my head. :)
  • Rules of Thirds
  • Nope i can do with out.
    Its a good thing for starter's but when you are used to your cam it doesn't gives any extras.
    Its just like riding a bike with trainingwheels. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • I can't believe I hadn't installed this app before.
  • I use Rule of Thirds and Square grids.
  • Yes, don't take pictures without it, only use rule of thirds... But I doubt there is any Lumia users out there that don't know about this, still... A great article @Mark_Guim ;)
  • I use it very less coz my cam(L 1320) is poor at capturing detailed pics. I use it only outdoors where there is plenty of space like garden,park,or similar kind of environment. Since I'm a above average photographer I use mostly DSLR. Wish Nokia-Microsoft had brains like me so that they can dominate the world like never before.
  • Does anybody experience problems with Nokia camera after Cyan update? I have problems with macro photos, can't menage to make things focused like before. Using 925 on Cyan...
  • My Lumia 1020 has horrendous autofocus issues both in video and in photos, it just can't find focus any more, but I am still on the Black Lumia firmware. It wasn't like this at first and seems to have started it's issues after the 8.1DP update.... :(
  • I had no problem with DP, but after Cyan, camera is worst than ever! It can autofocus things from distance, but when I try to focus something narrow it fails. Worked normal before...
  • I have the same focuse problem in every photo mode after updating my 630 to Cyan. Now all my picture is blure and noisy.
  • Do you think diagnostic tool will work if I report this to MS (general issues)?
  • Honestly, I never heard the golden ratio as a photo guideline. This is interesting. I think I'll give it a try and see what people are thinking.
  • For easy to understand tips to take the best photos no matter what kind of camera, check out Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Book series. He explains framing grids much like Mark did here, plus a lot more. http://www.amazon.com/Scott-Kelby/e/B000APPRO4
  • Will this fix my lens shaking?
  • Wish you guys would do an article a day for things like this. While I knew this already, would love to get an article where I didn't know and would learn something useful for day to day application of my phone. Keep up the good work!
  • I use the thirds rule in my compositions
  • I'm using golden ratio
  • Hmph! Never saw this or knew this before. Will have to try it out.... Hey how can I enhance the color in a picture befor I take it, or can I
  • Since I do pro photography, rule of thirds is the most effective way to compose an image.
  • Great! I'm going to use this to win sunrise contest :)
  • I use the golden ratio and have a 1020.  I started taking pictures back in the 70's when you had to frame the picture in the viewfinder (no reframing options). So having the ability to adjust focus, crop and edit exposure all while still in the "camera" is a great benefit.
  • Sure do
  • Yes I use golden ratio for pics and rule of third for video.
  • Crosshair grid can also be used to capture vanishing points.
  • How can i use 20mp in 1 image? because im seeing 5mp + 15mp and the result is 2 images. there is no option for 20mp image.
  • Closest you can get is 19MP by switching to 4:3 photos rather than 16:9
  • Nice article, Mark.  I wasn't aware this was available.  Funny, I had just finished reading a different article on composition about 30 minutes earlier - http://www.cgsociety.org/index.php/CGSFeatures/CGSFeatureSpecial/phil_straub_composition_tutorial?z=0&utm_medium=plugblock&utm_source=cgtalk
  • Whoa, thanks for sharing!
  • I've been mentally using the rule of thirds for yeas, but for sketching.  Never thought to use it to take better pictures, but I will now!
  • I would love to know how to overcome the distorted image near the corners and edges of Nokia Lumia images... I'm tired of cone heads and stretched people.
  • Golden ratio is always on
  • Surprising i never seen this option in settings...
  • I use them alot. I would like to see square+rule of third combination, to get even better instagram photos.
  • I like that idea. Easy to estimate where the lines are though inside a square
  • Always Golden Ratio. Get lines on this lines, it will help.
  • I wish u can still see the grid when I'm using the square frame..hope they make it possible
  • I use golden ratio, can't do with you it.
  • I use the golden ratio grid all the time.
  • I cant see grids as a option on my Lumia 925 , maybe need to specify what phones this will work on as a good idea but not available for all users 
  • True they can help but being able to zoom in and reframe with grids gives you a lot of wiggle room when shooting initially without grids.
  • Wow this is soo helpful do more articles like this
  • Sounded interesting, but I really didn't notice any improvements.
  • Rule of thirds rules! Maybe I'll try the Golden. I always use ROT grid. Anyone who has a minumum idea of photography knows the basics of composition. It is useful for those who press the button and don't think about anything but if the object is within the picture, no matter where exactely.
  • Rule of thirds mostly....
    Btw Nokia camera now don't have 4 second shutter speed! Annoying !