All good rules are made to be broken, but until we master the rule and know how and when we should be breaking them… We should probably stick with them 😉
There are loads of rules, but for this post I’ll stick with the basics that can have the biggest impact to your shots.
The Rule of Thirds
The image is split into three rows and three columns. Place an object of interest (in this case the does head) along one of the crossing sections as it is these sections that the human eye is drawn to first.
Avoid horizons in the middle
Following on from the rule of thirds, you should also try to place horizons along one of the top or bottom lines instead of across the middle of the image. Decide which aspect of the shot has more importance or impact and make sure it fills most of the frame. The image below has the wall on the bottom line, and the sky on the top line.
The image of the doe also follows this rule, as the grass finishes on the bottom line, and after the top line is solid darker colour.
Keep it straight
Always, always, always make sure that your horizon lines, buildings etc are straight.
Try a different angle or position
Sometimes the difference between a good shot and a great shot is simply taking a couple of steps to one side, or crouching.
Always make sure you don’t have something like a lamp post sticking out of the top of someones head, and try to analyse the shot and where it would look best from as many different positions before pressing the shutter.
I snapped this shot from so many different angles, and found this one worked best.
Having lines in an image, if they are placed correctly, can draw your eye into the shot and make you spend longer exploring the shot as a whole. In the shot below the lines of the bridge reinforce the fact that you should be looking at the girl’s legs, but also exploring the bridge in front of her.
Keep it simple or fill the frame
Play with ideas of minimal shots, sometimes it helps to shift your position so that there is nothing distracting in the background or if that isn’t an option get in close and fill the frame.
Look out for…
When shooting make sure you look out for the following…
Colour can have a massive impact in your work. People tend to notice reddy colours first, so if you have a image which has something red in the background it might distract from the main object in the foreground.
Blue toned images come across as being cold, whereas orange toned images come across as being warm. How someone perceives the image due to the colours included on it can influence how they respond to it.
Black and white
By converting an image to monochrome you add a whole new dynamic to it. Removing the colour forces people to focus on the details, contrast and textures in the shot.
Light is basically the essence of photography; without it there is no photo!
Playing with shadows and light and the contrast between them can make for interesting and dynamic shots.
Sometimes an image can be made out of a simple texture, or a texture within another object can become an interesting focal point.
2 thoughts on “Composition and other ‘Rules’”
Beautiful article which is hugely informative