Photo School

Following some basic principles will help you produce better compositions. The first and most essential guideline is to keep it as simple as possible. A photograph with too many components may be visually overwhelming and hard to comprehend. It's usually preferable to focus on a single subject or element while filling the frame, which will result in a more powerful image.

Another crucial guideline is to pay attention to the scene's composition before you shoot it. Take a few minutes to look around and find interesting compositions. Imagining how the environment will appear as a photograph and then setting up your camera accordingly may help you capture a stunning picture. You'll be much more likely than not to get a good shot if you prepare it ahead of time instead of just taking it without thinking about what you're doing. One of the most common reasons why certain photographs are more appealing than others is due to their excellent composition. That's what this article is all about. We'll look at how composition may help you improve your photographs and will start with the most essential aspect of composition - The Rule Of Thirds.

The Rule of Thirds

The Rule Of Thirds is one of the most essential principles for better photographic composition. The Rule Of Thirds is a guideline that states that an image should be more pleasant to the eye if the subject is not centered in the frame, but rather off to one side. This generates a more dynamic and intriguing composition. Simply consider a tic-tac-toe board over your picture to utilize the rule of thirds. Place your subject at the intersections or along the lines of the grid. This will result in a more aesthetically attractive composition. Of course, there are times when centering your subject might result in a more powerful shot, so don't be scared to defy the rules from time to time. The important thing is to be conscious of the rule of thirds and apply it when appropriate.

The Golden Ratio is a more mathematically sophisticated version of the same idea. It's based on the Fibonacci sequence, in which each number is the sum of the two preceding ones: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34. The Golden Ratio can be represented as a proportion approximately 1 :1.6. Generally speaking, Rule of Thirds is just a simplified version of the Golden Ratio.

For those just getting started, here are a few pointers on how to use the Rule of Thirds:

  • Frame your shots using the rule of thirds grid. This will help you get a sense for where to put your subjects.
  • Don't be scared to experiment! The Rule Of Thirds is a suggestion rather than a hard and fast law. Sometimes disregarding conventional wisdom may result in more creative images.
  • Remember that The Rule Of Thirds can be applied to many other aspects of composition. It may also be used to place other components in the frame, such as horizon lines and leading lines, similar to how it's done with subject placement.

Interesting fact, The Rule of Thirds was the creation of painters in the Renaissance. While the rule of thirds is often associated with photography, it can also be applied to other forms of art, such as painting and sculpture. Indeed, many Renaissance artists used the rule of thirds to create harmonious compositions. The aim of this style of composition is to provide a bit of background in the photo, to allow the photo to tell a story. Renaissance painters found that the eye doesn't rest on the center of a photograph.

Figure 1. The Rule of Thirds

Simply the Rule Of Thirds states that an object of attention should be placed at the intersection of the dividing lines (green dots). But you can also place the object along one of the dividing lines.

Figure 2. Can also be expressed horizontally

Figure 3. Horizontal example of the Rule Of Thirds

Figure 4. Vertically

Figure 5. More vertical examples of the Rule Of Thirds

Before you snap the picture, imagine your picture area divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically. The intersections of these imaginary lines suggest four options for placing the center of interest for good composition. The option you select depends upon the subject and how you would like that subject to be presented.

The whole aim of the Rule Of Thirds is to create a photograph which captures attention. The Rule Of Thirds does that by using human instinct. Most people's attention doesn't travel to the center of a photograph, it scans the edges. This is probably rooted in human instinct developed when man had to avoid saber-tooth tigers and the like. So if your attention doesn't go for the middle then why should your subject be there?

Also you aren't limited to just one subject. You can do two or more. Then it's recommended that you place the main subject on one dividing line and a secondary subject on another.

Figure 6. Multiple subjects according to the Rule Of Thirds

The Rule Of Thirds enhances the impression of action. If an object is traveling from left to right, then placing it on the left side would give it the impression that it is going to slide into the right side.

Figure 7. "Sliding into the frame" But this isn't an "etched in stone" kind of rule.

Figure 8. "Sliding out of the frame"

Also in landscapes The rule of thirds can give the pictures a bias. If your horizon is centered, people will wonder if it's a land shot or a sky shot. Placing the horizon at a line, then tells the viewer that this is a sky or land shot without having them to guess.

Figure 9. Sky at sunset shot

After you've learnt the rules, you'll see that well-composed photos generally require careful planning and sometimes patient waiting. You'll discover that the composition guidelines will come into your mind when looking for images, and they will soon become second nature to you. Finally, don't be hesitant to experiment with different arrangements. The greatest method to figure out what works is to simply go out there and start shooting. Try out various viewpoints, framing choices, and viewpoint combinations until you discover one that feels right. With some practice, you'll be able to create stunning photos in no time!