Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Open Eyes - Open Mind!

Of course, we know I've been working my way around the Mode Dial on my camera for practice.  However, just because I was in macro mode the other day didn't mean I had to stay there!

When I walked by this little opportunity, I had to shoot!

So - let's spend a moment today talking about composition.

First of all, I am not an artist, although I'd like to be!  But, the first composition/design rule I was ever told, and the first rule you read when you check out any books about photography, is the rule of thirds.  The basic rule is that you don't want the center of attention to be dead center in your photograph - that's boring.  It is much more pleasing to the eye and interesting to the viewer to have the subject off center.

To demonstrate, let me show you the first photo I took of this situation.

There are lots of reasons this photo doesn't work, but the first reason is the rule of thirds.  The sign is in the middle of the photo (or close to it) and it doesn't give the photo any movement.  Sometimes, I don't know why it doesn't work, I just know I'm not happy with it.  Luckily, on this day, I was thinking and remembered this little tidbit!

I also noticed that you can't see the soccer ball or the people all that well.  That's because I'm short!  So, I stood on my toes in order to see over the railing, and waited for a kick.

Much Better - don't you think??  :)

I felt a little rushed because people were starting to look at me like, "why are you standing around taking pictures of these kids?"  I don't need people thinking I'm a predator!!!

Anyway, here I'll show you a little more about what I mean with the rule of thirds.

Look at the "not so great" photo with a grid overlay that divides the photo into thirds.  (I did this in the Paint program, so the thirds may not be perfect... so give me a break about it.)

Notice that the sign is pretty much centered in the photo.  With the rule of thirds, you'd like to have the main focus of the picture under one of the places where the above grid lines intersect.  Notice the sign in the next picture...

See how the sign is placed under one of those intersections?  Also, the strongest line in the picture, the top of the fence, is close to the 1/3 line.  Not that they always have to be, but it does set up a better composition.

Let's look for another example of the rule of thirds making a photo better. 

What about these two different pictures of my youngest?  Which is the better composition?

I prefer the second photo for several reasons, but the rule of thirds applies here.  Take a look at where the intersections land on these pictures.

See how the face is right in the middle of the photo?  There's not really anything interesting under the intersections of the picture to draw your eye around the photo.

In this one her face is right under the upper left intersection.  I think you get the idea.

I hope you find this information useful.  I sure did!!!

No comments: