Today, I have a guest post from Courtney at Click It Up A Notch. I met Courtney on Clickin Moms (of course) and we bonded over blogging and social media. So many of you have asked for more thorough tutorials on how to take great pictures (no matter what kind of camera you have), and I struggled for a while thinking how I could write something like this without feeling like a giant poser. Also, I’m the world’s worst teacher. When things just “click” in my head, I have no idea how to explain to other people what I did to make that happen.
Courtney, however, is the complete opposite. I can get lost in her blog for hours! She really breaks each thing down, and today she’s starting with some of the most basic “rules” of photography. If you enjoy her post and want to soak up more of her knowledge, check out her blog and her Facebook page.
Composition is something anyone at any level of photography and with any camera can learn and put into action. You can use these rules with your fancy DSLR, point and shoot, or even your iPhone. Take a few seconds before you snap your photo to make sure it is as interesting as possible.
Rule of Thirds
This is probably the first composition rule that a photographer will learn. It is common to want to put your subject in the dead center of your photo but that does not lead to an interesting image. When using the rule of thirds you want to place your subject/focal point in one of the thirds of the image. The human eye naturally wants to see something in one of the thirds of a frame. When watching television tonight, take some time to check out the composition. You will find that 9 times out of 10 the subject is in one of the thirds. In the example below, you can see that the subject’s eye is in the upper right third of the image.
Keep the horizon straight
This is the quickest way to distract your viewer and lose them. Some people think it is artistic but just like any rule, it is good to learn the rule before you decide to break it. If your horizon is crooked it looks like your subject is falling out of the image. I am guilty of taking a picture with a tilted horizon, however, it is a quick fix in post processing. Just about any program, even the free ones like PicMonkey.com have the option to straighten your photo.
Take advantage of negative space
Oh, I love using negative space in an image. There is something about leaving negative space that makes your image just a bit more interesting. You really draw your viewer into your subject. Set your subject on one side of the frame (right, left, top or bottom) and leave blank space on the other side.
Use the natural lines in an image to help guide the viewers eye into your subject. Remember, we naturally read from left to right so when using leading lines you may find it most appealing for the lines to start on the left side and lead to your subject on the right side.
Fill the frame
If you have an interesting subject, don’t be afraid to fill the entire frame with your subject. How to do that? Get in close.
Take a minute before you take your photo to make sure nothing is cutting through your subject’s head. You want to make sure a pole or tree isn’t growing out of their head as well as making sure the horizon isn’t cutting through their head as well. As you can see below my poor friend has a gigantic tree growing out of her head. Oops!
Now, be inspired, take your new photography knowledge and go capture some beautiful moments of real life! Thanks again to Courtney for the guest post!