Friday, June 24, 2011

Experiment with the Rule of Thirds

It’s one of the most basic rules of photography composition--the Rule of Thirds--and its merits can be seen in countless professional photographs and paintings. To understand the Rule of Thirds, visualize two vertical lines and two horizontal lines dividing your image into nine equal squares. You then place your key subjects and points of interest along these lines. They will ‘rest’ where the lines intersect--in the crosshairs.

To better understand this concept, take a few of your photos and imagine the nine squares atop the image. Where are your primary items of interest? Choose a few of your favorite photos, the ones that really speak to you, and try the same thing. You may be surprised at how often the Rule of Thirds is at play in your favorite images.

Most camera manufacturers offer a virtual screen overlay that can divide your viewfinder into the Rule of Thirds format and this may help you get used to seeing your images in this way. You may prefer not to use this guide, but if it is available on your camera and you are new to the concept, try it and see just how different your images appear after experimenting. Think about where you want the eye to be drawn and use this guide to help you create that dramatic event.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Stretches of Light:

One of the many beauties of summer includes the promise of longer days, and these time changes in sunrise and sunset can impact your photography. If shooting sunrises tops your list, be prepared to get up earlier! Also, certain areas with extremely hot weather will mean an increased intensity of sunlight fairly early in the morning.

If possible, skip the midday sun as it can often be harsh and may wash out vivid colors. Because the evenings arrive later in the summer, you have more time to prepare your dusk shots. Feel free to start shooting a bit earlier than usual and see how the changing shadows and colors affect your photography.

Experimenting with sunrise and sunset shooting can be one of the most satisfying and interesting aspects of vacation photography. Taking into account the local landscape, unique architecture and weather patterns can combine into creating a series of images that move friends and family and possibly even inspire them to visit the locale themselves!