Category Archives: Composition
When we talk about photography triangle, we mainly refer to the exposure triangle: ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed. However, a triangle plays an important role in photography composition, too. I wrote about the Golden Triangle Rule here and this post will focus more on triangles in photography. Triangles are used in architecture, art and design and photography is not an exception at all. The shape of triangle enhances the order of items grouped together and draws the eye to towards the subject. In architecture, it also enforces the stability and strength of a construction. In photography, triangles boost the composition.
Is an 8×10 print a standard in photography industry and why professional photographers work with 8×10 prints rather than with 8×12 prints? This question usually brings a smile to my face. You see, when I started taking photography classes, I was not aware that professional, full-frame (FX), cameras can actually take images at a 5:4 aspect ratio (an 8×10 print) while my DX camera was limited to taking images at DX 1.5x aspect ratio (8×12) only. With a DX camera, I had to crop my 8×12 images in Photoshop.
The Nikon DX format is an alternative name used by Nikon corporation for APS-C image sensor format being about 24×16 mm. Full Frame (FX) camera typically has a 36×24 mm sensor.
There are so many ways to take food photos that sometimes it may feels a bit overwhelming. For a while I was subscribed to one of my favorite magazines – Real Simple and every month I would be thrilled to see the new cover. One of my favorite things about this magazine is that they keep their cover real simple and that’s what I wanted to try with food photography. I wanted to keep it real simple this week.
For this week’s Food Photography Challenge, I wanted to play with composition. While sticking to photography composition guidance often results in nice shots, sometimes we get a better shot if we ignore those guides and rules. As always, you need to know the rule to be able to break it and I wanted to break the rule of thirds this week.
Unlike technical aspects of photography, artistic aspects cannot really be easily defined and applied to every photo. Probably the most important element of any photograph is its composition. The composition is what makes or breaks your photograph and yet not every composition rule will work well with every photo. It’s up to you to decide what works the best. However, two things will always work well: simplicity and balance. Decide what your photo is about; what do you want to be the center of the visual interest; what your subject is and what’s not; and compose the photo accordingly.There are several composition rules. I wrote about the rule of thirds here. Another important composition rule (that I’ve learned) is the golden triangle rule. The golden triangle is pretty simple and works the best with lines but almost every photo will benefit from applying it. Check out here. All you have to do it to imagine lines going through your photo. The image below shows two large triangles (the top one – lighter blue one, and the bottom one – darker blue one).
Now, imagine drawing a line from the corner of the image towards the central line (under 90 degree angle). That line will form two more triangles which is a total of three triangles – large one and two smaller ones. All you have to do it to frame your shot so that your subject fills one of these three triangles. The framing does not have to be precise; a rough framing will do just fine.
You can see in my photo below what works the best. I took this photo in Pompeii, Italy. The first one is the original one while the other two are manipulated to help me show you how applying the golden triangle rule benefits your composition.
Popmeii is such a sad place with all the antic ruins and buried city. The history and/or colors are not very bright. I guess that’s why I like this picture. The sky is bright blue and the photo looks fresh, unlike the rest of dusty Pomepii. I love these colors and that’s why I chose this photo as a color inspiration photo.
So, what is the Rule of Thirds?
The rule states that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements placed along these lines or their intersections. Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would. Source. I am sure you can tell the difference between the photo that followed the rule of thirds by placing the subject along the vertical left line of the intersection and the one that centered the subject.
I use this rule a lot. Actually, I have set my camera to show the ‘the rule of thirds’ grid. It makes it a lot easier to edit photos if you know what you want and if you take them that way. I find this rule very useful when shooting people. I try to align their eyes with the upper intersection of the lines; either the left or the right side. It also works perfectly with the bottom intersection.
The same rule works for the landscapes as well. Move the horizon line from the center to the one of the intersection lines. In this photo, I moved it to the lower one. It makes ours photo more interesting.
It works this way also.
An example of how I broke this rule is here. I have tried to move the horizon line up and down but it worked just perfectly with the horizon centered. Any questions? Ideas? Examples?