Photography is all around us, just waiting to be seen. In this post I will examine three different relatively simple guidelines in photography that can make any photo standout. These guidelines can separate a beginner photo from a professional one.
Rule of Thirds
In this photo of the Eiffel Tower, the photographer offset the focal point- the Eiffel Tower- to the right of the photo. The Tower is in line with the thirds line on the right, and the horizontal thirds lines also hit points on the Tower and the sky line in the clouds.
Here, I set the small cluster of palm trees on the left vertical thirds line and the top horizontal thirds line. Just as the photo of the Eiffel Tower, the tall focal point of this photo is set on one side of the vertical horizontal thirds line with other scenery in view.
The photographer has used the element of leading lines to draw the eye to the subject of the photo. The eyes automatically follow the natural lines the blinds make to the little girl.
In this photograph, I positioned my cat at the end of the blinds. The natural lines the blinds create draw the eye to the cat, which is the subject of this photograph.
Depth of Field
The photographer has positioned the green apples in a diagonal line, and focused on the front apple. Depth of field includes subjects in the foreground, middle ground and background. The focus and bokeh effect naturally draws the eye to one of those subjects and figures out the rest of the subjects next.
In the photo I took of these Diet Coke bottles, I positioned them in a diagonal line like the apples, and set focus on the front subject. I mimicked the photographer’s shallow depth of field and chose to focus on the foreground subject.
Here are three photographic elements that can guide an beginning photographer to notice their positioning and focus of subject in photos. Many more compositions and guidelines exist in the world of photography, but here are some of the basics to get you started on understanding photography. After all, the only rule in photography is: There are no rules!