Monday, June 17, 2013

Essential Skills: Photography - The Rule of Thirds

I am super excited this morning! One of my favorite people is here today to talk to you about making your photographs better! Heather and I have been friends since 4th grade and I have gotten to watch her passion for photography develop and sit for a lot of photos for her projects. She is an amazing woman with mad skills and is here to share her wisdom and answer any photography questions you might have. With all of our Essential Skills posts, if you have questions or items you want addressed in the next post in the series, please post them in the comments, and I promise Heather or I will get back to you in a speedy manner. Before I pass things off to Heather, I should note that I love the photo of Heather and her Dad that she uses in this post. I love her dad too, such a great, funny guy.

Take it away, Heather!

Photography. There is a sea of conversations to be had just with that single word. My relationship to it has been as creator, hobbyist and dabbling enthusiast.

I love pictures. More so, sharing them with the world. Pictures are one way I have to share how I see things with someone else. I have a unique view. And so do you. Photography has become something that is so available to everyone that it has almost become a sort of unseen skill set, something we overlook as being special. It is incredible to see the world through someone else’s eyes.

One of my favorite photographers, Richard Avedon, has a line that I particularly like to describe how I feel about photography. “All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.” (If you are unfamiliar with his work, please look him up! His work is stunning). Photography is what you choose to reveal. And it is what you choose to leave out. The final shot isn’t the whole story, it is just one moment of one. How much it tells is up to you and that is what I feel is so fantastic about it!

This series is about getting down to the basics, answering questions or just general conversations about day to day dealings with photos. Because, whether you are attaching a photo to an email, taking a picture of some fancy dessert or posting your latest update, chances are that pictures are a part of your daily life. I believe everyone has the right to the title of “Photographer”.
The first time I held a camera, it was love. And not the instant kind, it was the kind you had to send off and wait with bated breath to get those 24 shots back and remember those particular moments. However, my allowance, and economy dictated that I refine my technique some and, maybe, I can pass along some of my early lessons or musings on to you...

One of the first things I learned was to consider what it was the camera was “seeing”, to know my frame. Think of your view screen as sort of sectioned off into thirds. A vertical section of top, middle and bottom and a horizontal section of left, middle and right. This sort of helps you to place your subjects. If this is a landscape, for example, you might place the land in the bottom two thirds and the sky in the top third. Or maybe the sky is particularly noteworthy and you reverse that (sky is top two thirds and land the bottom). The reasoning behind this is that the human eye is drawn to a sort of unevenness. The viewer will hardly spend any time on a picture where all the information is dead center. You want their eye to travel all around the frame and take it all in.

Photo Credit: Heather the Photographer

Please leave comments about what questions you have, thoughts you have, absolutely whatever crosses your mind! 

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