The original version of this picture was my favourite from my Wearside Walk. I thought the sculpture of the bird at the last moment before taking flight set against the sky was quite beautiful. But somehow, the picture wasn’t quite right. And having looked at a lot of photos and read a lot of advice in various photography magazines, I knew that it was the composition that was the problem. There’s this concept called the Rule of Thirds, which suggests that images are more pleasing to the eye if subjects are placed so they fall along imaginary lines dividing the frame into nine parts rather than at the centre. And while it’s more of a general guideline than a rule, it does improve a lot of pictures. And this one is no exception. By cropping it, I’ve moved the bird to the left of the frame, giving it lots of room to move into. Another guideline is that it generally looks better if things are moving into the frame rather than out of it. And while this particular bird isn’t really going anywhere, it does look like it’s taking off, so the guideline is a useful one in this case.
Here’s the uncropped version for you to see the difference:
 Read the linked article if you need a more coherent explanation