Art is in the eyes of the beholder… So very true. Although, have you ever wondered why we seem to see certain patterns in nature? Like Faces in trees, animals in clouds? I think we are pre-wired to see such things, maybe held over from we when we needed to use more of our senses, who knows for sure really. For some reason this thought works in photography composition. That’s why the “rules of photography” work. What truly makes those National Geographic shots? Those Ansel Adams photographs we all love?
The Rules of Photography. Guidelines so to speak.
You might have guessed from my photos, that I am not a pro, and often break the rules for some reason or other. But it helps knowing them I think. Here are two helpful Rules to, “break” in photography. 😉
1. Fill the Frame/Cropping
This works well for taking photos of people and pets. Try shooting just the face or from the waist up, like in these photos.
Waist up (above) or just the face (below)
This also works if you find your scene too distracting. Zoom in or crop closer.
Below: The scene is too busy, making it hard to see the bird.
Below you see the bird zoomed in a bit closer. This image gives the bird room to fly away in the direction it is facing.
In the one below it is zoomed in even closer, filling in the frame. Of course a car choose to go by at that moment, but I liked it, it added contrasting color.
2. Another useful tip I have learned is not to cut off limbs if you are shooting pictures of people or animals.
I personally have a hard time with this one. With animals, they just move too fast. Sometimes I use a fast shutter speed to get the whole animal in the frame. With people it is much easier. I still tend to cut off the top of their head, or shoes.
Shown below, the right way.
And the wrong way. Notice how the feet are cut off. This will distract from your photo.
But sometimes pets, animals and people move and you just can’t get the perfect shot. That’s alright too.
Notice how the nose is cut off in this one? Its good, but the one below this is better.
The one is below is more pleasing to the eye, so if you can try to get the whole area you are shooting. Like all of the face, in portrait photography.