Monday, November 2, 2009

Composition: Rule of Thirds

Before I took photography seriously, it is automatic for me to take photos with my subjects placed in the middle of my frame... well I know most of us do this...

...then our photog-enthusiast boss taught us about the "Rule of Thirds". I know this is one of the most basic things one must know in photography but believe it or not I became aware of this only last year... I may be taking photos with this rule applied before but i guess unconsciously... being aware of this rule now helps me think about the photos I shoot before i hit the click-button...

here's a sample of a photo taken with Rule of Thirds in mind....
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The Rule of Thirds works like this: Imaginary lines are drawn dividing the image into.... thirds both horizontally and vertically. You place important elements of your composition where these lines intersect. Here's a diagram of what im talking about here..

Aside from using the intersections you can also arrange areas into bands occupying a third or place things along the imaginary lines. It is fairly simple to implement, right?

Good places to put things:
- third of the way up
- third of the way down
- third of the way in from the left
- third of the way in from the right

Not so good places to put things:
- right in the middle
- right at the top
- right at the bottom
- away in the corner.

Using the Rule of Thirds helps produce nicely balanced easy on the eye pictures. Also, as you have to position things relative to the edges of the frame, this helps get rid of tiny subject surrounded by vast empty space' syndrome.

In the sample photo above, the subject was placed along the lines on the right... with the part of the body of the father almost at the lower right intersection of the imaginary lines. :)

The Rule of Thirds is fairly structured... you can always break them... it's just one of the rules anyway, as long as you can produce better images by veering away from this then go! :D There are a great many methods you can use which will now rely on your ability to 'see' things and incorporate them into your composition. But for starters, I think applying the Rule of Thirds will greatly improve your usual photos... :)

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