A good background can make or break an image.
If the background does not add to the image, you need to try to remove it or make it invisible. Either move your feet and change your angle to the subject or change your viewpoint to 'hide' the background.
The background can also be useful and should be included, using leading lines (tip #5) or colours to help emphasise the subject of your photograph.
Whatever you do be aware of your background to ensure you don't spoil your image.
Yep you have probably heard of it, but what does it actually mean.
Well in simple terms any framed image (art or photo) is broken into thirds along the horizontal & vertical edges. By 'framing' in photography means the image you have framed to capture in your photograph.
As per the sample below you can see how the image is broken into thirds. The idea is to align your key components of the image to a third, like the cyclists below.
By using the thirds you can see how it gives the image some character. It's not to say don't have a subject in the centre, but using the thirds rule helps give interest to what could be a plain image.