The Basic Rules of Photography 1. Focus on your subject 2. Employ the Rule of Thirds 3. Use lines to draw attention to the subject 4. Frame your subjects 5. Try changing your viewpoint. Change the angle 6. Avoid Mergers!
1. SIMPLICITY KEEP THE FOCUS ON YOUR SUBJECT –avoid clutter
Which features a clearer subject? The cactus is the main subject. And by moving in closer and using the plain sky as the background, we have simplified and improved the appearance of this photograph.
Hans Staub In front of the kindergarten
Aaron Siskind Savoy Ballroom
Carol Guzy Volcanic Mudslide in Columbia
Max Desfor A pair of bound hands and a breathing hole in the snow reveal a body buried in the snow and left to die by retreating communists during the Korean War
1. The subject is off centre 2. The eye is drawn to the top left corner 3. Footprints lead eye to the subject 4. Shadow adds to photo
1. Horizon is in top third 2. Subject is not centred. 3. “S” curve is aesthetically appealing
Same subject: off centre and horizon shifted
A vector is a line indicating direction and motion. Note that the sailboat to the right appears to be moving into the picture. THINK VECTORS!
Michael Macor San Francisco Earthquake
Carolyn Cole Children enjoy a bucket of water in war torn Liberia where the number of orphans topped 10,000. 2004
Matt Rainey Emotional photographs that illustrate the recovery of two students burned in Seton Hall University dormitory fire.
Andrea Mohin 9-11
George Kochaniec Columbine 2000
David Leeson / Cheryl Meyer Squad leader stands at attention as troops pay last respects to a fallen comrade in Baghdad. 2004
3. USE OF LINES Natural lines like a road or fence can lead the viewer to focus on your subject.
Vertical lines emphasize power, strength, and height. Horizontal lines express stability and width. Diagonal lines express dynamic energy. Curving lines express sensuality.
George Barnard Charleston Railway Depot
Ansel Adams - rule of thirds - use of curves - placement of horizon
Cornell Capa New York Steelworkers Bolshoi Ballet
4. FRAMING Note: Rock frames structure. Note: Horizon is not in centre of picture.
Purpose is to show height of monument Monument is framed and includes subject and depth
1. Rule of thirds 2. Horizon is in lower third 3. Subject is framed
Marc Riboud A street in old Beijing
Russell Lee Migrant child returning home from the fields