Installment number 5 of our little series is all about composition.
You can check out our first 4 installments here:
1. GET YOUR CAMERA OUT OF THE CLOSET!
2. Fill your frame.
3. Capture the scenery.
4. Remembering the details.
This little tidbit will help make a big difference in your photos instantly. When you pair this with all of the other tips I have given you, you will create some great stuff!
When I talk about composition, I’m talking about where you place your subject in the frame of your camera. So many of us have always been told to make sure we center our subject right in the middle of the photograph. How many pictures have we had hanging around our house of people dead center in the picture? I for one have had lots over the years.
That is until I learned about the Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds is simply dividing your frame in thirds horizontally and vertically. So imagine a grid over the picture. Kind of like a Tic Tac Toe board. Then put something of interest at the intersection of two of those lines. For example, see how her eye is right near the intersection at the top left corner. Her other eye also ended up being near the other intersection as well.
There is something about using this Rule of Thirds principle that just
makes the picture a little more pleasing to the eye.
And here is an example of the same picture cropped to put the subject dead center in the frame.
Just not as pleasing for some reason.
The other thing that I do sometimes is line my subject up along one of the lines.
See how his body is along what would be the left vertical line of the Rule of Thirds grid? His eyes are also aligned with the upper horizontal line of the grid.
Makes the picture tell a little story.
Gives him somewhere to look through those binoculars.
Might make you wonder what he is looking at?
If shooting a landscape picture, put the horizon either on the upper 1/3 line or along the lower 1/3 line. So you will need to decide if you want more of the foreground in the picture, or more of the sky in the picture. It will depend on what you want the focus to be. You could even take a picture both ways and then decide which one you like better. But do not divide the picture in half with the horizon line. Your landscapes will be much more interesting when using the Rule of Thirds.
NOW, after saying all that, there is a time and place for the perfectly centered picture. It just depends on what your subject is doing. Sometimes the centered approach really works.
So my suggestion would be to shoot the picture in a number of ways compositionally(is that even a word???) speaking. Take the picture off centered, then in the upper or lower part of frame, and then centered. See which one you like better. With digital photography you can really take endless pictures while practicing. You will eventually figure out what your favorite way is without having to try all of the ways. (Does that make since?)