Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rule of Thirds

As we've been going through the pictures from Reds Canyon, some that we took and some that others took of us. We saw that some pictures were composed well, and others were just point and shoot pictures. In the well composed pictures, I kept noticing how much the rule of thirds helped. (Or how much it was needed in the point and shoot pictures.) The rule of thirds is one of the most basic rules in photography to help you get great pictures.

Here's how the rule works. In your mind, take the picture and draw two vertical lines that divide the frame into thirds. Draw two horizontal lines that also divide the picture in thirds. The result is something like this:

As you can see, this creates 4 intersections. Instead of putting the subject, say someone's head, in the middle, try putting it in one of the intersections. Also, instead of putting the horizon in the middle, put it on one of the lines.

Here's a couple examples of how the rule of thirds helps. In the first picture the horizon goes right through the center of the picture. The result is so-so.

In the second picture, the horizon is up higher and it improves the picture. Also a specific subject was added that filled the frame.

In the next example, we were driving near a ridge, and some of the larger rocks had fallen. This created quite the dramatic scene. However this picture failed to fully capture the drama of it all. Notice again how the horizon goes right through the picture

Once we re-frame the picture and take another angle, the picture is dramatically improved.

So next time you decide to go out and take some pictures, remember to take some time and frame the picture, and don't forget the rule of thirds.



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