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Photography composition: guiding the eye

 24th Jul 2009

composition-rule-of-thirdsNo matter how many fancy automatic settings on your digital camera, they’re no use if you don’t apply the basics of photography composition.

It’s well worth using the Rule of Thirds which suggests that -­ for whatever reason -­ the human eye likes to view scenes in groups of three.

So when considering the photography composition of a landscape, mentally divide it into three horizontal sections.

Place the horizon on an imaginary line ­- so that two-thirds of the photo will be land and the remaining one third sky.

If the sky looks really dramatic -­ perhaps a beautiful sunset or a stunning cloudscape ­- you may want to reverse this and dedicate two-thirds of the photo to sky.

When shooting portraits, it helps to place the eyes of the subject on an imaginary line one-third from the top and two-thirds from the bottom of the picture.

The same photography composition principle of thirds applies to the vertical as well.

Imagine you’re shooting a tall lighthouse or tower ­- giving that subject one third of the available space will enhance the photo.

Popping it on the right helps too, guiding the eye because people read from left to right. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

For more on photography composition plus information on the Masterclass in Photography or one-to-one training days, contact us now.