Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Composition part 1: the rule of thirds

After two short discussions on post-processing (1 and 2), the first in a series on basic composition rules to further enhance the quality of your photographs if you are not aware of them yet. I am using an article on the site Amateur Snapper as a guideline here, but providing examples from my own stream. Basically, the rule of thirds requests you to mentally divide your image into nine equal segments by two vertical and two horizontal lines. In general, it works best if the most important elements in the shot are positioned close to these lines, or even better close to the points where they intersect. In this example from my stream (Washing), the woman and the bucket are placed on the left vertical line, whilst the two most important elements, her face and the bucket, are on intersections. Another good example is shots with a horizon in them - put that on one of the horizontal lines. Like all rules, there will be exceptions where other approaches work even better, but as a general guideline I have found that this is the most important rule to follow to improve the composition.