I found in my last group of photo I had quite a few shots that employed the good old ' rule of thirds' policy. I do it without thinking..
But here are some tips for you when having a go:
- Make sure your camera's focus point is set to the third you wish to capture your subject. When I took the photo of my husband and daughter above. I set the focus first and then snapped. It only took a second. But you are ensured you get a great shot. Practise at home with inanimate objects first.
- A distracting object in another third of the shot can ruin the effect. I made sure it was only the beach and the horizon behind them.
- When you can't avoid distracting objects..parties etc.. Setting the focus point in the third you want to capture your subject will ensure what you need IS IN focus. In R's birthday image below I wanted the cake in the bottom third to be in focus and my children to be out of focus..I set the focus point and took the shot. Mind you I was also struggling for light..More on light another time though!
- Take a few snaps of the same shot. Always a way to get the right image. In the photo of my husband and daughter I moved my subjects further out to the right in some of my shots. But decided on this one at the time of editing.
- Rule of thirds can apply to photo taken in portrait too. For the photo on the left, I wanted a shot of the group of children. But I wanted to capture the boats and dock too. By getting down on my knees and setting the focus point in the bottom third as I did so - I was able to capture the image you see.
- The rule can also be twisted to suit your needs too. For the photo on the right. I wanted Miss M to be in the bottom third. But I angled her slightly to the left too. In this way she appear to be bouncing into the shot and I still managed to capture the boats behind her.
- Another way to use the 'rule of thirds' is to capture your subject- but to leave the remaining thirds out of focus like I did above. In this case I wasn't trying to include the background so much as make H the absolute focus. Mind you, I like that R is there and you can make out the birds slightly.. This type of image requires keeping you f-stop low if you are using a DSLR. Having it on the portrait setting on a point and shoot will give a similar effect though. You still need to set your focus point as well.
- This type of photography I find works well with my scrapbooking. The photos above when printed - will be able to have embellishments on the 'negative space'.
- And lastly, try to remember to reset your focus point for other shots - I don'y always! And I get bugged by out of focus subjects back in the centre of my image!