We’ve been talking a LOT about the technical side of photography lately, so I wanted to take a break and focus more on the artistic side. I’m hopeful that these tips on composition will inspire you to grab your camera and spend some time shooting this week. If you’re short on time, just use your phone!
The Rule of Thirds
The Rule of Thirds is probably the most widely understood concept when it comes to photographic composition. It’s also the easiest to implement as most cameras have the guides inside of the viewfinder!
The idea is that you take any scene and divide the space into 9 equal sections and then aim to put the most interesting aspect of your subject on one of the four intersections. Thinking about this while we’re shooting offers the added benefit of really focusing on what is interesting about the image – is it the eyes? The smile? The interaction between two people? What do you want to convey? Think about this and frame your photo accordingly.
Pro Tip: Did you know that you can set your iPhone settings so that your iPhone camera shows this grid, too? Go to Settings > Camera and toggle the Grid option:
Breaking the Rule of Thirds 🙂
Like every good rule, this one is meant to be broken. Go ahead, be a rebel, I won’t tell. Here are a couple of examples of breaking the rule of thirds, and a bit about why I went that direction.
Filling the Frame
When in doubt (or when in a cluttered space, or when in a foliage-free climate, or when you simply want to capture a stunning portrait), fill the frame with your subject. This is one of my methods for consistently capturing captivating portraits no matter where we’re shooting. Messy toy room? No problem.
Conversely, leaving lots of space around your subject can create an equally interesting image.
Leading Lines, Perspective and Framing
Let’s wrap this up with a little challenge. You don’t even need to bring out your fancy camera – your phone will do just fine. Spend some time this week working on the following composition concepts, and then come and share them in the RYC Facebook group!
- Rules of Thirds
- Break the Rule of Thirds
- Fill your frame
- Negative space
- Leading lines
- Change of perspective
- Frame your subject with their surroundings
I can’t wait to see what you create!