There are a lot of composition techniques commonly used in photography, with several of them well-known, like the "rule of thirds" or "leading lines". And there are many more techniques that are less well-known, like "figure to ground". Or maybe you know it, but didn't know it was a thing, or didn't know what it was called. This is for you.

Simply put, the theory of "figure to ground" is the relationship between the subject (figure) and the background (ground). That relationship can be expressed with contrast, or with colours, or brightness levels, and many other things. But the basics of it are easy to understand: the aim is to make your subject stand out by making it dramatically different in some way from the background.

Take this Buddha statue as an example. This was shot in Sukhothai Historical Park in central Thailand. It's one of my favourite destinations in Thailand, mostly for it's beautifully preserved structures, and also because it never seems to be busy when I go there. Anyway, the point is -- do you see how the sitting Buddha statue is emphasized in the composition because it's brighter than its surroundings? This was not a PhotoShop manipulation -- it was the actual lighting at the time. Sure I was lucky to be there at that time, but I was equally aware of the situation, because I purposely look for these opportunities.

I suspect that you can spot these occasions just as easily as I can. Or maybe, you spot them, but don't know why you think it's good. If you take a look at some of the Masters works, very often the photos that are considered their best work will contain many Figure to Ground compositions. Steve McCurry is famous for his works in this style, for example.

So, my suggestion to you, dear reader, is to look for those opportunities where you encounter dramatic differences between the subject and the background. Exaggerate them if you have to. Your subjects will become clearer, and the image will become better because of it.