I found a short video which could really improve your photography - so I had to share it with you. The 3 minutes you take watching this video could significantly improve your photography.
To say "you can't take a good photograph without good composition", sounds rather obvious - but how many people really think about composition when they pick up a camera to take an image? Do you understand secrets of how to make your image pleasing to the eye? Do you know how to make someone's eye wander to the part of the image you really want them to focus on without them even knowing you've influenced where they've looked?
The video explains in 3 minutes what could take an hour or more to explain verbally. It uses visuals, and given that photography is a visual art, what better way to explain?
Give the video a go and then check out my takeaways from the video below. I don't pick out everything the video teaches, as the video speaks for itself in a lot shorter time than I could explain all the concepts - but I felt there were a few things worth adding.
Rule Of Thirds
The rule of thirds is massively important for composition. If you take anything away from this video take the rule of thirds. Some cameras even allow you to place a "rule of thirds composition grid" in your viewfinder or on your live view screen. It may be worth checking out your camera's manual to see if your model will allow this.
Leading lines are great for leading the eye to the part of the picture you want people to notice (the subject). The eye will naturally (and again unconsciously) follow the line to see where it will lead. This technique can be used to stunning effect, placing emphasis right where you want it to be - kind of like you were placing arrows on your image and saying "look here" - except no-one will see you've put arrows there.
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Contrast can be a really useful tool. In addition to light and dark, use different colors to contrast - or textures. In a way the use of bokeh is using contrast. You've blurred part of the picture while the subject (which remains in focus) has texture. The eyes are therefore drawn in naturally to the subject.
The image to the left uses both light and shade contrast, and texture contrast. It also uses lines.
Filling The Frame
Filling the frame with and getting close to your subject increases the importance of the subject in the image . Notice the way the eyes have connected with the camera in the examples used in the video.
Remember also that if you get close to your subject and you keep the subject some distance away from the background you can exaggerate any bokeh effect you wish to use. You may want your subject to be shown in context and use only a little bokeh, or you might wish to exaggerate the bokeh and really focus the eyes on your subject.
Break The Rules
No self respecting creative likes to be restrained by rules. I couldn't agree more with the conclusion of this video that (creative) rules are meant to be broken (unlike legal ones...). You should know the (creative) rules, but never feel restricted or stifled by them. Think of them as a "guide". Go out, experiment, have fun, and see where your creativity takes you. As the famous Doc Emmett Brown once said "where we're going there are no rules"... or was it roads? Never mind, I'll get my coat - but today is the day that Doc and Marty arrive in the future...
I hope you found this article helpful. Why not share your thoughts by leaving a comment? Do you use any of these rules already? Did you find them helpful? Are you excited to start applying them to your photography? We read all comments and try to respond to as many as we can. We also take our inspiration from your comments. If a comment draws our attention to something which is troubling people we're likely to deal with it in another blog post - we're here to help!