This is what I call the fun week in Photo Mama! You are all going to still be concentrating on learning your settings and working that light to your advantage but now you can take the next step and use some composition rules to get your photos looking REALLY good. I want you to remember the ones I go over (even rule of thirds) does NOT mean you have to do these now for every photo. They are just ways to make your photos more interesting. So I will critique your photos this week based on what rule you are applying to your photo and whether I think you achieved that. I want you guys to post THREE photos for this assignment, all with different composition rules...or a photo can have multiple in one. Keep asking questions on your settings though if you have them!
Rule of Thirds
This is probably the most common rule to composition and once you learn it ...it will be hard NOT to do it actually. The concept is to have this grid of nine squares that intersect in four points. If you line up your subject to be in one of those intersecting points or along one of the lines the effect is the viewer more naturally interacts with your photo visually but you also create a nice balance to your photo. I use the upper right intersection a lot...probably because I am right handed and it is what is the most natural to me. I used this one of Miles because for once I used the upper left intersection! See how the middle of his eyes are in that intersection? You might even have these lines or grid on your camera. I know you can enable it on your iPhone. So if you didn't know already that is what they are used for! If you were taking a landscape shot you could try lining up the horizon line with that top line or the bottom line depending on what you were going for. This is by far my used composition rule and I honestly have to push myself to NOT do this sometimes haha! But it does create a nice balance to your photo once you get the hang of it.
When we look at a photo our eye is naturally drawn along lines. By thinking about how you place lines in your composition, you can affect the way we view the image pulling us into the picture or towards the subject. There are many different types of lines: straight, diagonal, curvy, zigzag, radial, etc. Each can be used to enhance our photo’s composition whether they are an obvious line or something a little more subtle. I actually love practicing this one it can make photos a lot of fun...and we are all are hoping to be having more fun taking photos right?! I'm going to post several examples for you guys here.
This is one of my favorites because you have to challenge yourself creatively. Most often you would be right down there with the child trying to get a good angle on her but you can think out of the box and take one from above like this and get on a stepstool! I stand on chairs a lot to get shots from above and a small ladder to do above the crib shots J But it can be as simple as just their cutie feet or their chubby hand reaching for something. Or maybe you are across the room through a doorway instead of right next to them.
To create depth in the photo and to have your photo create a feeling that you were there, it is good to have objects in the foreground, middle ground and background (but not a crazy amount to distract). A tip I do is if I see a good photo moment happening...I kind of grab things out of the way that are going to distract you. (Move sippy cups, other toys, blankets, etc) Also these photos are easier to take if you get at eye level with the subject. I am bent down and my camera is resting on the table so my manual focus is still at Caleb's eyes but then the trains in front of me blur and what is behind him blurs. The point of all these techniques to get blur is to create a visual subject of the photo that stands out...and usually if you are taking photos of your children that is what you want to do!
Framing is a fun composition rule to try out. As many of you know my sister and I have had a photo business together for years and we always like to do a fun "framed" shot and surprise our clients with it. Usually in newborn shoots we do this when they aren't looking…in a mirror or doorway etc. We also like to use leaves as framing. It can only be achieved with moving around that focus otherwise your camera will want to focus on the leaves not your subject through the leaves. You might have to move around a little bit to get in the perfect position. I like this one because my Photo Mama classes always come up with some really creative framing ideas I have never thought of myself! Also framing can be on one side of a photo... all the way around... an arch, a doorway...you make the rules.