Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Photography 101 - #2 The Power of Composition

When you snap a picture, do you think before you press the shutter button? Do you literally point the camera and shoot or do you think about where you want each object to go in a picture? In case you're used to point-and-shooting, here's a tip that can make new photographs really stand out from the rest. And it's a very simple tip as well!

All you need to do is to take a second before you press the shutter button to move your viewfinder around. And if possible, move items around as well. Do this to improve the composition of your to-be photograph.

For example, take a look at the above photograph. If I had only told you I was going to take a random picture of tongue-and-groove pliers on a wooden bench, you would have expected nothing but a boring picture with the pliers in the middle of the photograph randomly sitting on a bench. If you look at my take on the situation, somehow it looks much more interesting than a pointed-and-shot photograph as I just described. Somehow, did I say? Let me explain why.

What you see in this picture is very simply the result of applying the Rule of Thirds to a photograph. Think of this rule as dividing your photo into nine equal rectangles - you've all seen the grid option in cameras, I presume. If you didn't know what this option was for, here's the logic behind it: when you align objects in the image to the grid lines - the borders between the rectangles - your photograph becomes generally more appealing to viewers.

Now think of these 'objects' as generally as possible. In the image the pliers are an object. And so is the bench. But the patch of grass stopping at the upper third portion of the image is also considered an object - that is, the rule is still applicable as to aligning this edge of grass to the upper third grid line.

Most commonly the Rule of Thirds is applied to photographs including a horizon. In case of point-and-shooting, you might take a picture where the horizon ends up in the middle of the photograph. But according to the rule, this picture would've looked more interesting if the photographer had chosen the horizon to either be at the upper or the lower grid line, instead of exactly in the middle. However, it should be noted that since photography is subjective, the Rule of Thirds does not always make an image more interesting or appealing. It is merely a tool that generally does.

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