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.

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