While composing shots with your camera, one of the basics you'll want to master is The Rule of Thirds.
After all, it is a technique developed by the Masters, way before cameras were even invented. All kinds of studies and theories have been done and conclusions drawn by brain scientists as to how our eyes are drawn to the thirds of a picture. Others say the Rule of Thirds creates energy and exciting tension and that's why it was developed (Thank you, Mr. Wikipedia have a baloney sandwich on my tab, sometime).
If only the Masters were around today. They'd probably tell all the knuckleheads analyzing and theorizing to go do something important, like, " Go pick up all the plastic water bottles and bags ruining the landscape. Quit trying to pick our poor brains while we're dead. Here's the secret. The real reason we invented The Rule of Thirds, they'd say is:
"Because It Makes Your Pictures LOOK GREAT"
Now, if your camera has a display that places a Tick-Tack-Toe symbol over the scene while composing, that's a big plus. Just try and line the scene so that the subject is in one of the thirds of the photo. When you have a scene with horizontal lines, like a beach, ocean and sky, try to compose along the lines going across your scene. If the subject is vertical, use those lines.
One of my cameras doesn't have the Tick-Tack-Toe feature so, I have to estimate. It takes a little practice but, isn't that difficult. The Statue of Liberty I posted here was taken with my camera without a Rule of Thirds display. I just took another shot of it on my monitor, where I could show you the imaginary lines I use to take the picture. Why did I choose to place the subject in the left third of the picture rather than the right? Energy, tension, excitement, I guess. Now, I'm going to grab a baloney sandwich an head to the beach, see if anybody's down there picking up trash. Until next time, Happy Shooting!
A wildlife photographer living in Okinawa, Japan, Mike has been published in Apogee Photo Magazine, Boots N all, Brave New Traveler, Go Nomad, Matador Abroad and Trips, The Nihon Sun, Travel Thru History, The Okinawan , Wend Magazine and Photo Guide Japan. He has recently joined the ranks of travel writers, capturing Nature, Festivals, Castles and Cultural shots of the Ryukyu Islands to share with the world.
I see. Now that’s extremely helpful. The rule of thirds is firmly established in my camera mind.
Learned the technique of keeping readers interested by throwing a little food in my posts from you, Inka; thanks.
Baloney may not be all that tasty but, once you’ve had it you’ll never forget !
Good tips and easily explained. People seem to have a natural tendency to place the subject in the middle. It’s amazing what a difference just a few centimetres to the side makes. (Didn’t know it was ancient knowledge though 🙂
Thanks, Sophie ! Actually, there are times placing the subject in the center is the way to go, but, that’s the exception rather than the rule. Look for a lengthy post on when the exceptions rule, sometime in the near fututre.
Great advice as always Mike, thanks for keeping the tips coming.
Thanks, again. I’ll try and keep the camera tips coming for you but, hope you’ll reciprocate with your travel tips!
Good advice…..sometimes we don’t use all our options and tools that the camera has and we miss out on some good pics…..thanks for the advice, Mike……and of course, a good baloney sandwich is always a treat!
I might become a photographer just through your tips alone, thanks Mike!
Paul and Candice,
Thanks for visiting. I try to pass along knowledge that helps whether you’re a Point and Shoot or DSLR owner. Simple composition tips can even improve your shots when all you have is a disposable camera, for that matter. Keep coming back and ask questions, if you’d like.