Tuesday, September 15

Tuesday Tip 9.15

Rule of Thirds 
There is general composition guideline called the rule of thirds that can be applied to many visual arts. The quickest way to describe it is to imagine your camera's viewfinder is split into 9 equal parts - two horizontal and two vertical lines. Not confusing at all, right? Here's a visual since I learn much faster that way myself.

©Frame Away

The idea is to compose the image so that your important elements are either on the lines or at the intersections. Think about it the next time you watch a movie or television (or the next time you view a painting if you want to pretend that you don't watch tv): the action is rarely in the middle.
More often than not, the person or thing that is the focus is off to one side.

Check out these images. The image on the right is more interesting.

If the grid is too boring an example, then the Golden Ratio is another composition tool with basically the same end.
The idea with this cool nautilus type guide is to position your focal point within the golden rectangle at the curved end of the spiral.  Turn it around and/or flip it in any direction, and the
golden rectangle is roughly the same as the intersecting points on the rule of thirds grid. 
FYI-The Golden Ratio (or Golden Mean or Fibonacci Spiral or Divine Proportion - whew)  has mathematical and philosophical purposes that I don't begin to understand.  
©Frame Away

With all that said, sometimes rules are made to be broken. The rule of thirds is like many other photographic lessons: Learn it, use it, and then you can break it.  This image was intentionally centered.

 So, as you're shooting, remember these guides to think of different compositions.  Happy shooting!