Tuesday, March 30, 2010

12 Weeks to Better Photography - Week 5

Be sure to check out Merideth's blog for a link to all of the 12 Week's participants!

This week focuses on composure hitting 6 major points:

  1. Keep it Simple
  2. The Rule of Thirds
  3. Keep and Eye on the Horizon (sort of an extension of the rule of thirds)
  4. Frame your subject
  5. Fill the Frame
  6. Try a new perspective
I'm going to be honest. I completely forgot about this week's lesson until today, so I'm just going to pull old photos that I've taken that exhibit each point.

Keep It Simple
Try to avoid too much background activity. It takes away from the subject. For example, my first image is a little to chaotic, you can see the poles in the background and it's a little distracting from James and his utter cuteness.

This second image, however is a little more easy on the eyes. My subject is clear and uninhibited.

Rule of Thirds
When taking a picture, try not to center everything. It's in our nature, I think, to want things to be symmetrical and centered. So, we automatically put our subject in the center. However, when you think about it, a lot of the images that you see and say "WOW" to aren't centered. They are often offset. So, divide your viewfinder into thirds (like a tic tac toe board) and line up your subject on one of those lines or cross points. I always say this was the turning point in my photography.

Keep and Eye on the Horizon
This is kind of an extension to the rule of thirds. Don't let your horizon cut your picture in half. Line it up at the upper third or lower third line in your image. You can see this a little in the image above.

Frame your Subject
Try using naturally occurring items to create a frame around your subject. It brings the eye in and makes the photo more interesting!

Fill the Frame
Don't let dead space kill the photo! You're taking a picture of something, let us be able to see it! 

Try a New Perspective
Don't be afraid to show off your flexibility! For kids and pets, get down on their level, see the world how they see it. Try finding a perch or just a new angle. You don't have to photograph your subject head on!

Next week: Shooting Indoors