Monday, June 16, 2014

Photography: Rule of Thirds

     The Rule of Thirds is by far my Favorite rule of photography.  I naturally gravitate to using it in the horizontal format, but it can be equally as pleasing shot vertically.

     When applying this concept, the subject of the photo will not be in the center, but off to one side or the other.  The image is divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically.  This creates four intersecting points.  When the focal point of your picture is aligned with one of these points, you are applying the rule of thirds.
  You can view that she is in the right 3rd of the horizontal photograph, but also pretty close to the lower 3rd vertically as well.
  
     Here she is without the grid lines and the photograph is much more dramatic without the subject being centered directly in the middle of the image.(isn't she gorgeous?!)

     Same type of scenario with this beautiful cousin of mine, only centered in the left 3rd of the photograph.  We are naturally drawn to this image because of the composition,(rule of thirds), both by our eye and by emotion.

     Using this composition creates an impact to our images.  It becomes beautiful and a work of art and not just another ordinary "picture".  We may involuntarily part our lips or give a slight gasp when an image evokes emotion in us.  When you view your favorite image of someone or something, ask yourself why you enjoy it so much.  Emotion, I tell you!  All of this is due to composition!


       I do have a few vertical examples.  What is the subject of this image?  The railroad tracks.  They disappear into the fall colors of the trees.  They are not in the center of the photograph, are they?  They are in the lower third, this is more appealing to the eye.


      Phenomenal sunset.  How you choose to photograph it is up to you.  I chose to put the horizon in the lower third, the clouds and crescent moon aren't exactly on the intersecting point, but that's okay.  They are in the general area of the left third of the photograph as well.

     Using this rule is one of the easiest to learn concerning photography.  You do not have to purchase an amazing camera,  you can use a point and shoot camera, phone camera, it doesn't matter.  No crazy exposures to think about, just composition.  Now the hard part is making it a habit when you do take your camera out.  You will have to intentionally think about it for a while, then like anything else, it will evolve into your everyday photography.  Six months from now, go back through your photographs and see if there is any change in your composition, you could be pleasantly surprised.

     This is a fantastic concept to use for photography competitions as well.  You want your image to stand out from the rest of the images, correct?   Use this, I promise, it works.  Since it is fair time, all of you 4H'ers could practice this for your club entries.  Be a step ahead of the rest and make that judge stop in front of your photograph and get that blue ribbon!  For the rest of us, amateurs and pro's, it's just good practice.

Happy Shooting!
(photographers will not take offense to that greeting)