I have been taking photographs for a long time. In high school, no one knew that I was an intern for Craig Duffy, the local hotshot photographer at the time. I would help him with whatever he needed and learned a lot about how to shoot great photographs just by being there. It was immensely enjoyable and I really liked it. If it wasn’t for him, I might not have really thought about what I liked and didn’t like about shooting. During those days we lived in the stone age. Not really, but compared to today’s technology, it might as well be. I had to learn everything about the camera I was using. It was just an old Pentax, but it got the job done. But that’s not why your here, is it? You want to know just how I am going to help you take way better photographs. I can teach you theory, mechanics and color. Do you want to know all those things? Maybe…
I can hear you guys now yelling at the screen. I thought you were going to tell me how to take better pictures NOW!
Ok, ok… I can do that.
Learn the Rule before breaking it
The very first thing about taking photographs is the “Rule of thirds”. This rule is something that every photographer uses and will always use. This doesn’t mean that every photograph you take should follow it. It is not a rigid thing that cannot be broken. More of a great technique to build your shot around. Once you get it in your head and find yourself applying it without thinking about it, that’s when you know it’s time to start finding great ways to break it.
What is this Rule?
The rule of thirds is very simple and it’s easy to apply to almost any image. Basically, you overlay four bars on the image. These bars break up the photograph into three separate segments.
Where these segments intersect or cross, indicate where the focal point of the image should be placed.
It’s that easy. Yes, it really is. I use it all the time.
In fact, It has gotten to the point that most of the time I don’t even know I am using it.
Every photograph you take and have applied this rule to will be better. In fact, I bet you have used it and didn’t even know it. Go back and look at some of the best photographs you have taken. No, I am not talking about the photographs of grandma that you took as a kid and love it because it reminds you of grandma. You like that photograph for a totally different reason. Someone who never met your grandma probably won’t feel the same way about it as you do.
I am talking about the photograph that you took that just seemed amazing and you really didn’t know why. There is a good chance you can see where this rule is why it is one of your favorites.