Rule of Thirds
The Rule of Thirds is probably the most common and basic composition rule in photography. Understanding the Rule of Thirds is photography 101 and one of the most important photography tips to remember.
The grid below shows the basic theory of the Rule of Thirds. The idea is to place your point of interest in one of the intersecting lines to balance the shot and keep it interesting (instead of always focusing the subject in the center of the photo).
Why is this a basic composition rule? Well, the viewer is actually naturally inclined to look at the places those lines intersect rather than the center of the photo. Following this rule will help your photos to flow more naturally.
This photography course is held over the weekend, starting on Saturday morning and finishing on the Sunday evening.
Contact us and we can arrange a date for a group, or, we will nominate a date that suits once we have enough numbers.
If you want some training now I would be more than happy for some one on one personal lessons.
Day 1 - theory & technical
Day 2 - practical
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There are two main aspects to the Golden Ratio. The Spiral and the Phi Grid. The Golden Spiral is a common tool used when composing portraits or when you want the viewer’s eyes to flow with the photo. After all, that’s exactly what the spiral does, it flows through the photo while focusing on a key element. The Phi Grid is similar to the Rule of Thirds with one key difference. While the Rule of Thirds splits the photo into even sections (1:1:1), the Phi Grid doesn’t follow the same symmetry and the intersecting lines are closer to the center of the photo (1:0.618:1).
These 2 hour digital photo editing classes will focus on the digital photo editing basics.
- How to get images from your camera to your computer.
- The differences between RAW and JPGs
- Software choices and benefits
- Editing a RAW file
- Basic colour and contrast corrections
- Extracting and saving
- Online services and backing up options
The two may seem quite different when you first look at it, but they follow the same basic principles.
While it seems like a very technical composition rule, the Golden Ratio is found everywhere in nature (after all, it looks just like a nautilus shell). Placing a the focus point along the Golden Ratio rules is sub-consciously very pleasing the human eye. Though it might seem complicated to keep in mind when you’re shooting out in the field, but if you imagine a small rectangle in one of the corners in the frame, you can easily compose with the Golden Spiral in mind.
When should you compose with the Phi Grid in mind and when should you compose with the Spiral in mind?
The Phi Grid a great thing to reference when shooting scenes like landscapes, and the Golden Spiral is good for things like portraits.
Composing your photo so that there are leading lines gives the eyes an easy path to follow in a shot. They carry the attention through a photo and can be used to draw connections, emphasize a subject, create depth, and spur interest.
Oftentimes, leading lines are used to connect the foreground to the background and create depth. Sometimes these lines will lead to a subject, a point of interest. However, other times they may lead to nothing and seem like they’re never ending - effectively creating a sense of infinity.
Finding patterns and symmetry in nature are striking. Lines, colors, and shapes that repeat themselves are prime for photography and can create an instantly interesting photo.
Isolating patterns from the surroundings is a great way to compose a photo.
We frame our photos when we print them, it’s a common practice to focus your attention to something by blocking the edges of the image. You can apply the same concept to the photo itself.
Framing the shot will create a level of depth and enhance the focal point.
Rule of Odds
The Rule of Odds suggests that having an odd number of subjects make a photo more interesting. For example, having 3 people in an image is more intriguing than having 2. Studies show that people are actually more comfortable looking at an odd number of subjects than an even number.
It’s always important to keep in mind which viewpoint you’re shooting from. The viewpoint can have an impact on the emotion and feeling you want your photo to convey. For example, if you photograph a person from above, the image can convey that the viewer has superiority over the subject. It’s also always great to experiment with different and unique viewpoints and angles.
Breaking the Rules
Now, lets not forget that sometimes rules are meant to be broken. They’re more like guidelines. Once you understand them and why they’re important, you can create powerful and striking images when you choose not to follow them.
If you don’t understand the basics of photo composition, certain placement can look sloppy and awkward. However, you can create a statement by deliberately choosing not to follow the rules if you know why composition tools like the Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio exist in the first place… and when not to follow them.