Archive | November, 2012

The Rule of Thirds

25 Nov

One of the most important rules of composition in photography is the “rule of thirds.”

To put it simply, the photographer must divide the photo into three equal sections (horizontally and vertically) to create 9 equal boxes in the frame. This can be done by changing the settings to view a grid on the camera screen or simply by picturing it when looking through the lens.

Once you have this grid in sight or in mind, place the subject of your photo at an intersection of two lines or parallel to one of the lines.

Example:


I drew this grid over one of my photos quickly, so the measurements are not exact, but it explains the process.

Having my subject and her footprints near the right line and right intersections of the grid gives the photo a more interesting and unique look. It also gives room for more background imagery, in this case the ocean and sand, on the left side of the photo.

Both of these characteristics keep the photo from boring the viewer.

Though one might think the viewer looks directly to the center when first seeing a photo, this is incorrect. Studies have shown that viewers are more likely to look toward the areas of the photo where the line intersections occur.

Here are a few more examples of the rule of thirds.

Here are a few examples of boring photos without using the rule of thirds.

Although these are both boring subjects, they could have been used to create a more unique photo by using the rule of thirds and changing the perspective.

The rule of thirds does not always have to be used to create an awesome photo.

Here is an example of an interesting photo without using the rule of thirds.

This photo is filled with different colors and objects and shows different depths. Although it could be altered to be presented better, it is still a fun photo.

The trick to the rule of thirds is to learn how and when to use it, so you can then learn how and when not to use it.

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Photo Editing Tip – Contrast

1 Nov

Many photographers take editing a little too far and end up ruining what was originally a great photo. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to edit your photos so much that they end up looking like a graphic design. Sometimes we get excited about a new editing program or a new trick we learned, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be used for every project.

One tool I always use on my photos is the contrast setting.

Contrast determines the separation of light and dark colors. High contrast makes the darks and lights stand out from each other. Low contrast makes darks and lights less noticeable and gives the picture and gray over-tone.

I always always always bump the contrast scale up a few points to give my photos that extra pop.

High contrast tends to wash out a person’s face and skin, so don’t over-do it on portraits. Contrast is easier to control when dealing with inanimate objects and scenery.

Example:

Image

Original photo, before changing contrast

Image

Edited photo, after changing contrast