Let’s go with more Photography Tips… Get out of the Middle! Part one…. Lines and the Rule of Thirds
In my last blog entry I talked a lot about cooking and omelettes, What will I talk about this time? Let’s talk about plating up your dinner, shall we?
When you serve a steak and veg, it’s not usual to put the meat right in the middle of the plate, now is it? You wouldn’t then arrange the spuds right at the bottom of the plate nearest to the chair, the carrots on the furthest part of the plate, the swede on the right, and the turnips on the left… and so on? Ok, everyone has just run away and said they ain’t eating at my place, due to such imaginative menus, but I hope you get the picture. Talking of pictures….
It’s a very natural first instinct when you take a photograph of something, anything, that you put the subject slap in the middle of the frame. The sad fact is that such images actually don’t hold the viewers attention. Why not? I hear you ask. A good question, I think it’s do do with brain programming actually, which I can’t change.
The Rule of Thirds – Horizon placement
So, some pointers to make your images hold the viewers attention. Try putting the horizon on an imaginary line one third of the way up the frame, or two thirds of the way up. There! You have just learnt the Rule of Thirds. Wasn’t difficult, now was it? Ken Duncan eat your heart out. Peter Lik, move over….. The Rule of Thirds – simple as that. Try taking the same photo with the horizon slap bang in the middle of the frame, and compare the two. One will look too symmetrical and your eye – as the viewer of the image – will wander away quicker, exactly what you don’t want to happen.
The Rule of Thirds – Use the line intersections
Let’s take the grid concept one step further and use it a little more whenever we can. Use the intersections between the imaginary horizontal and vertical lines. Place important subject elements on those intersections.
Likewise, if you are taking an outdoor portrait. Put your subject on an imaginary line one third of the width of the photo away from either side, not in the middle. This also gives you room to put an ‘environmental marker’ in the image, e.g. your child by the Sydney Opera House, your grandchild by a rock in Berowra Valley National Park.
What will be next I wonder?
Lobster? And will it really be in the centre of the plate? Go on, try it, put your meat in the centre of the plate…. It just looks plain wrong!!!!
Til next Time
The Berowra Photographer