Photography Composition Rules
Breaking Composition Rules: Bad or Good?
Photography composition rules are a tool to understand the basic principles of design in visual arts. These composition rules are constructive to make an image more dynamic and pleasing. However, there are also times you need to break these composition rules to create a better story with your pictures. I cover more about Photography Composition Rules in Digital Camera Bootcamp workshop. Please check the course description for more info.
Last week I posted this photo in Rebel Photographers Facebook Group and asked the group: What rules did I break in this picture and WHY.
Everyone answered the question correctly about the broken rule, which is the Rule of Thirds, and almost everyone got my point of breaking the rule, but not the reason. In this blog post, I’m going to explain the reason why.
What is the Rule of Thirds?
In photography (and all the visual arts), the Rule of Thirds is a composition technique that divides the “canvas” into three sections, both vertically and horizontally. It suggests we compose with the main subject off centre (on one of the intersecting lines) for a more dynamic image.
What is the reason for Rule Of Thirds?
The main reason is to invite your viewers to see the whole image. By looking at the main subject positioned off centre, our eyes will scan the entire picture. This scanning makes the photo more interesting because people will view the full scene, not just part of it.
With this explanation of the basics of the Rule of Thirds, it will be easier for you to understand the answer to why I broke the rule in the above picture. With so many distracting elements in the scene, I wanted you to focus on him only and see how he was engaged with whatever he had in his hands. Because I centred him in my composition, almost everyone paid attention to what I wanted to say! Mission accomplished!
Photography composition rules help us to tell our stories more effectively. It is essential to learn these rules and understand the reasons behind them. Composition rules help us to become skilled at knowing when we need to break them to tell the story more efficiently.
So next time, when you want to block your audiences from noticing any distractive elements in the scene, place your subject in the centre.
That is all for now. Check our upcoming classes for a photography workshop that you’d love to take. Let me know if you have more ideas like this one to share. As always, I love to hear from you.
Ted and the Omnilargess Team
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