Rules to Photography

Photography: The Rules of Composition

           Composition is the combining of distinct parts or elements to form a whole.  In photography that thought is very important in taking good pictures.  The following guidelines are just to be thought about though, it is not necessary to try to use them with every picture you take or there wouldn’t be any creativity in your work.  Once you learn these rules and strategies you will be more prepared to find great picture spots and opportunities.

           Before you just step up and take a picture you should consider what you want your fans to look at and how you should display the interesting parts of your picture.  You should ask yourself, what is the main subject?  What angle should the light be hitting in my picture?  Is there anything that could accentuate the main subject?  Where should the main subject be in the frame?  These are all important things you should consider, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to follow the rules exactly.

Rules of three           The Rule of Thirds has been used for centuries and is probably the most important of all the composition techniques.  The Rule of Thirds means that the frame can be divided into three horizontal sections and three vertical sections and therefore, where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect makes an ideal location for the more important parts of your picture.  By locating your main subject at one of the four intersections you give the subject more emphasis than if it was right smack in the middle of the picture.  This is also a good technique if you have more than one important subject, the intersections can still work even if there’s a subject on more than one.  The divisions can also be helpful in setting up a picture, they can for example, help you determine how much horizon you want.  Most famous photographs or paintings in the world today have the rule of thirds applied to them in some way.

           Simplicity is the method of keeping the information in a photograph relatively simple.  If your main subject is close, then your background should be very simple to avoid distractions.  You should try to keep everything not important much less interesting than what’s important in the frame.  Especially avoid lines or objects that lead the eye away from the subject.

Framing           Framing is the tactic of using natural surroundings to add more meaning to your subject.  It could be anything such as bushes, trees, a window, or even a doorway like in the picture at the top of this page.  In the process of doing this you need to be careful that you don’t only focus on what’s framing your subject.  Make sure you focus on the main subject, and also it is a good idea to use a narrow aperture (high f/stop) to achieve a high depth-of-field.  It also wouldn’t hurt if the part of the picture framing the subject was darker so make sure you take your light reading on the main subject.

           Texture can add a significant amount of interest in any picture.  When people see texture in pictures they start imagining what it feels like to touch what’s in the picture.  Texture is a good idea when your taking pictures of rocks, walls, surfaces, someone’s hands, or leaves.  In order to make a picture reveal a texture you must make sure the light is coming almost exactly from the side of the surface so it creates shadows in places key places.

Leading lines           Leading Lines are used to lure the eye deeper into a picture or to an important subject.  Straight, curved, parallel, or diagonal lines are all good at promoting interest.  Good examples could be roads, rivers, streams, bridges, branches, or fences but there are endless things that could be used.

Colors
           Colors
are what add heart and emotion to your pictures.  Certain color configurations can inspire awe and amazement in onlookers.  Colors can be used to add all sorts of accents and effects, but you must be careful to not draw attention away from the main subject.

It might not be a bad idea to keep these key terms with you when you practice taking pictures.  The best way to learn and improve your composition is just lots of practice and experimenting

 Created and located at:

http://www.tutorialized.com/tutorial/Photography-The-Rules-of-Composition/13298

The sunny 16 rule
The basic exposure for a scene taken in bright, sunny light is f16 and a shutter speed equal to 1/ISO setting. For example f16@ 1/100th at ISO 100.
 
The moony rule
My favorite formula is: f11@ 1/ISO setting for a full moon, same shutter speed at f8 for a half moon and the same shutter speed at f5.6 for a quarter moon.  
 
Camera shake rule
Never shoot hand-held at a shutter speed slower than 1/focal length or 1/100 for a 100mm etc… The exception are the IS/VR lenses.
 
Always meter from a gray card rule
Metering a gray card is a excellent way to get a good mid-tone exposure. What do you do if you don’t have one? Expose the palm of your hand and open up one stop.
 
DOF rule
When shooting for maximum DOF focus, shoot about 1/3 into the photo, This is because the DOF is twice as deep behind this point as in front.
 
Exposure rule
The advice “expose for the highlights and let the shadows take care of themselves” is fine for slide film and digital but for print film you are better off overexposing one stop.
 
Flash fill rule
If your flash does not provide flash fill ratios you can manually do it. Set the flash ISO to twice the camera’s ISO. Meter the scene, select the f-stop and set the flash to the same. This will result in a 2:1 ratio.
 
Flash range rule
How far will my flash reach? Double the distance, four times the speed. If a flash is good for 20 feet @ ISO 100 it will be good for 40 feet @ ISO 400.
 
Sunset rule
Meter the area ABOVE the sun without including the sun. Set 1 F-Stop down to make the sunset look later or set the exposure compensation to -1.
 
The always rule
Always have your camera with you and be ready… for you just never know what will appear in front of your eyes.

Created by: Rickey Brown

Located at: http://www.outdooreyes.com/photo159.php3


2 Responses to “Rules to Photography”

  1. Are you a professor? What knowledge and creativity! I’ll keep this as further reference! Sorry, my computer isn’t taking in the previous pages….

  2. No, I am not a professor but, a photographer who is tired of paying to learn and viewing a lot of inappropriate material to learn simple techniques. I think there shoulc be a place where it is free and family friendly.

    Take care and be safe.
    God be with you,
    Tony

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