Take better photos – Part 1

You ask for it – Photography tips!  Welcome to my first “Take better photos” post.  There will be several of these in coming weeks, so be sure to check back for the next instalment.  I will be gearing them mostly toward photographing people and kids, as that’s what I do most.  However, most of the topics and tips covered can be applied to all types of photography.


Composition – Rule of Thirds

One of the simplest ways to make your photos more appealing is to follow the “rule of thirds” for composition.

The rule of thirds states than an image is most pleasing when its subjects or regions are composed along imaginary lines which divide the image into thirds — both vertically and horizontally.

The human eye is naturally drawn to the top, bottom, right, or left third of a picture. Think about some of the most famous paintings, more than likely they use the rule of thirds. Television and movies use this rule as well – understandably, as they just another form of photography.

How do you do it?

Ideally, you want the eyes to be where the vertical and horizontal line join. Often much easier said than done 😉

Horizontal/Landscape photos:
You want your subject’s eyes, or the focus of your image, to be in the right or left third.

Vertical/Portrait photos:
You want your subject’s eyes, or the focus of your image, in the top or bottom third.


Something else to remember is to try and ensure that your subject is ‘looking into the frame’. You want there to be empty space for your subject to look at. The same applies if  your subject is moving. You want to give them room to ‘go’.

Looking into the frame:

Leaving room to “go”

However, just because you take a photo and the subject isn’t looking into the frame or isn’t in a third of a picture, that doesn’t mean you have to trash it. Some of my favourite photos aren’t technically correct and they are breaking the rules. Who cares! If you love it, then it’s a keeper!

There’s many situations where it might be better to ignore the rule of thirds than to use it. You might want to make your subject look more confronting, for example, or emphasise the symmetry of the scene. It’s important to ask yourself: what is special about this subject, and what do I want to emphasise? If the rule of thirds helps you achieve that, then use it. If not, then don’t let it get in the way of your composition and creativity.

Grab your camera and start practicing!

Feel free to post any questions / comments below  🙂



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