Guest Post: Mel from Tip Toe Thirty

Hello everyone!  My name is Melanie, and I blog over at Tip Toe Thirty.  I like to talk about crafting, photography, gardening, and random bits about my life.  Come visit me and say hello, will you?  Thanks Polly, for letting me take up a little space on your blog.  I'm really honored!

I decided to drop by and give a little beginning composition tip for all those aspiring photographers out there (or even people just wanting to take a better picture.)  One of the first rules you ever learn about composing a shot is the "Rule of Thirds."  Basically what the rule of thirds states is that if your picture is divided into 9 boxes then some, or most, of your main subject should fall on, or intersect, one of those lines.  For those visual learners this is what the grid looks like:

rule of thirds grid
Tic Tac Toe anyone?

So what you want to do is line up your subject matter on one of these invisible lines when you look through your viewfinder. For instance, let's take a look at a vertical example.  Here is a picture of this flowering tree... When I look through my viewfinder and place the branch in the middle of the "box" this is what I get:

Notice how the branch doesn't actually fall on or intersect either of the vertical grid lines?  Your eye really has nowhere to rest.  It bounces back and forth between the two empty areas on the right and left side and the flower in the middle.  Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce.

Let's see what happens when we place that branch ON one of those vertical lines.

I don't know about you but my eye is immeadiately drawn to the left side of the image on the flowers and then after taking in the details of the flowering branch my eyes come to a rest on the empty right side of the picture.
What do you think?

Let's take a look at the horizontal lines for another example.

This is a view of the rolling hills of Kentucky, from my front porch.  There isn't a flat horizon line to be seen around where I live, but bear with me and kind of "even out" the horizon line in your mind for demonstration purposes.   As you can see the horizon falls right smack dab across the middle of the picture.  It's an "ok" shot, but there's no real point of interest in it.  Let's say I want people to enjoy the unedited blueness of the skies at my house today so I want people to actually focus on that when taking the picture.  If that's the case then I want my horizon line to fall on the bottom 1/3rd line.  Like so:

Now my eye falls on the empty, vast, blueness of the sky. Ahhhh, it looks as calming and peaceful as a still body of Carribean water.  Oh, it doesn't, you say?  You think it just looks like some brownish trees and a blue sky? Well, in my mind it looks like the ocean and right now I'm someplace warm and tropical and not looking outside at a tolearable 50 degrees.  

And that's something to always take into consideration: everyone's eye is different and everyone will look at the same picture and see something completely different.  Also remember that rules were made to be broken.  This "rule" is just a guideline so just because something falls outside of one of these lines doesn't mean it can't be a good picture. But if you find that your pictures are "boring" or lacking something don't be afraid to break away from the center of your screen when lining up a shot.  You won't be disappointed!

Come visit my blog to learn and see more random things about photography.  You can stop by my etsy shop to purchase prints of my beautiful Kentucky home.  And right now if you use the code "GRAND" you can get 25% off! You can also follow me on twitter.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to get out those cameras and start shooting!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post! I'm trying hard to get better at taking pictures. This is going to help, big time :D


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