If you are a regular follower of this blog, you’ll know that we have touched upon the subject of photography in the past. It is something that doesn’t just embellish our lives – it has become an essential part of our everyday activities, ever since cameras have become small enough to live in our pockets and purses in the form of phones. Whether you are an iPhone fan or a staunch supporter of the Android, you know that image technology is evolving daily, with gotta-have, professional grade camera phones appearing on the market at least once a year. So now that all of us have expert level technology at our finger tips, wouldn’t it be nice to use it like a pro?
Point is, you don’t have to have a professional camera to take professional photos. Use the one in your phone to achieve astounding results with a few simple tricks.
1. Rule of Thirds
This is the simplest trick in the book that will guarantee an instant improvement in your photo taking. Think about it like this: the human eye loves asymmetry. Therefore, you should never put your subject in the center of your composition. Divide up your image into three parts vertically and three parts horizontally (so, two equally spaced lines across your image top to bottom and left to right). Your main point of interest should fall into any one of the 4 intersecting points or along the lines. Do whatever you can to not position your focal point in middle of the center square – this will create interest, open some space around the subject, and allow the viewer’s eye to explore deeper.
Here is an example.
When you impose the grid on top, everything fits. The composition is right-heavy, but nicely balanced with the other two-thirds of its space.
Think about it like this…
A tree in a field looks as boring as it sounds; but when once you reposition your elements just a little bit differently…
…the view is instantly better.
This one is Rule of Thirds’ best friend. What is it exactly? To put it simply, negative space is everything that surrounds the positive space, or, your main subject. It doesn’t necessarily have to be empty space either – more often than not, it is the background and surroundings of the object that have less contrast or vibrance, helping your focal point to stand out and have more breathing room. Just like you would not want to put something in a tight fitting, claustrophobic box, you wouldn’t want to do the same with the subject of your photo. So don’t be afraid to include what might seem unnecessary – it’s all essential to the “world” of the photo.
For example, take a look at this image of a boat. Technically, if you are trying to show a boat, you have achieved your goal. So how can you make it even better?
Open up the space so the negative highlights the positive.
Here are a few more examples. Notice, it works in both the vertical and the horizontal aspect ratios.
The empty “air” in the image above points out the potential of the house to fall into it.
Unlike the top two, this little trick is not a must, but you’ll definitely have fun looking for it once you’ve seen a few examples. Framing is exactly what it sounds like – it’s when other objects in your composition surround your main focal point to make it stand out. It can be anything from architectural elements, to natural formations to lighting effects. For instance:
Everyone loves a nice sharp image of the moon, but perhaps there’s something missing…
While the second image lacks the sharp quality of the first, it’s still a better choice because of framing.
The opening of the cave provides an organic and totally unique frame…
A frame doesn’t always have to be complete, as in the above example.
An actual window frame.
Framed with shadow.
This might seem like a odd example, but consider how the darkness of the background tree shape frames the light beanie in the foreground…
Frame as as result of a different vantage point.
So next time you find yourself embarking on a photoshoot, whether big or small, remember to use these few helpful techniques.
Once you have a nice photo, you can always use it on a custom phone case or other customizable item of your choice and show off your gorgeous image to the world! Connect with VivoPrint on Facebook and/or Twitter to share your favorite works or experiences.
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