Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Picture Practice - Composition - Rule of Thirds

Welcome to our Instagram challenge of phone camera techniques. Most of the photos that I use in the examples have been taken with my iPhone 6, but there are few examples that were done using my DSLR because they illustrate the principle better than photos I already have on my phone. The photos I post on Instagram however,  will be made using solely my phone, however, these are basic principles of photography that are applicable for any camera you use.

The first area we will concentrate on is the area of composition. Even when you have every camera setting perfected, if the composition is lacking, your photo will not be very interesting. Today, the prompt is "Rule of Thirds".

The goal of the Rule of Thirds is to create a photo that is both interesting and captures the attention of the viewer.  When the main subject is placed away from the middle of the image, the photo is usually more interesting. 

Here is a reference for how to think of your camera screen.  
The intersection points are where you want to place your main subject.  
For a landscape, placing your horizon along either the lower third line or the top third line is almost always visually pleasing. In the photo below, placing the horizon near the top third lines allows us to view the boats and reflections in the water.
Most DSLR cameras have an option to let this grid show on the screen (or in the viewfinder) as the photo is being taken.  (don’t worry, it doesn’t actually show up on the photo itself).  But, did you know that you can find this option on many smart phones as well???

I have an iPhone 6, but my husband has a Galaxy (that takes amazing pictures, by the way), so hopefully, I can give you some basic information that will help you find this option on your own phone.

1.     Go to your phone settings.
2.     Click on Photos & Camera.
3.     Be sure the Grid selection has been toggled to green.
4.     That’s it! The Rule of Thirds grid should show up on your camera now!

1.     Go to Camera Settings
2.     Scroll down until you find the Grid option and turn it on.

3.     That’s it! The Rule of Thirds grid should show up on your camera now!

One thing to remember when using the rule of thirds for people, animals, or even vehicles. You should always let the eyes be looking (or the front of the vehicle) toward the blank space, as if they were moving forward into that space.  Here are some examples--in both cases the bubbles and the baby have somewhere to move. If the open space were behind them, it would appear that they were running into the edge of the photo.
And finally, rules are meant to be broken. Sometimes, it makes sense and is visually pleasing to see something perfectly centered. In the photos below, you can see that slight changes in the scenery dictated what would look best for these photos.
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