Friday, March 19, 2010

Framing and Composition

One thing some people don't think about when taking a photo is the look of the final image. Purposely framing and composing elements of the picture in the viewfinder before snapping the shot will usually result in a much better final image.Try thinking of composing the picture as seeing all the visible elements in the viewfinder as parts, and then putting them together as a pleasing whole. Consider what the viewer(s) want to see, then determine the best way to display the main subject.

Also, decide if you should hold the camera vertically or horizontally before snapping the shutter. If you are taking a photo of a single person right in front of you, it is best to hold the camera in the vertical position. If not, you will likely have too much wasted space on each side of the image. On the other hand if you are taking a group or landscape, it is usually better to hold the camera in the horizontal position. You will fill more of the frame with the main subject(s).

Now let us move on to the rule of thirds. This rule has been used by artists and photographers for years.
When applying the rule of thirds, mentally break the camera viewfinder into 9 separate areas. Do this by picturing two imaginary horizontal lines across the viewfinder. One will be a third down from the top and the other a third up from the bottom. Then picture two lines vertically on the viewfinder. One line is one third from the left,and the other will be one third from the right.

When using the rule of thirds, it is best to place the main subject generally in the areas of the frame where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect. Research shows that the eye falls naturally to one of these intersections. This also works for more than one subject in the frame as you can place them at different intersections in the frame and it will still work. This method gives a better visual effect than placing the subject right in the middle of the frame.

Another way to improve composition is to use leading lines. This is easily done by using an element you see in the viewfinder such as a road or bridge to help guide the viewers eye toward a certain area of the picture. The viewers eye will automatically follow the line to the subject or area of main focus.These are not cut and dry rules, but it is good to learn and know them. They work very well in a wide variety of images. Even if you use them in conjunction with your creative flair, your pictures should still turn out fine.
Give it a shot. This will make your photos stand out more.

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