So you’re learning photography-exciting! Curious about all the rules and guidelines? I have to let you in on a little photography secret: there are NO rules.
You’ve seen incredible (and awful) photos before so you already know there are wrong and right ways to capture a picture but there are no absolutes. I can’t stress this enough! The “rules” are actually more like spices, different ones mixed together can make something amazing but whatever you do don’t mix mix all of them at once. Which brings us to…
Rule#1: The Rule of Thirds
Have you heard this term before? It means the eye is usually more attracted to arrangements where the focal point is off center. The first picture shows the focal point (my pile of summer chalk) in the center of the photo…looks pretty meh. In the second shot I moved myself so the chalk would be off center…much more interesting! Now that you know this rule you’ll begin noticing it everywhere; TV shows, movies, even billboards.
Rule#2: The Eye Love Lines
If the photography “rules” are more like spices then this “rule” would be garlic. Supremely versatile, adds a little kick, and goes great with almost anything. In this photo I deliberately lined up the chalk but in real life (especially when snapping pictures of people) you usually don’t have that kind of control. Fortunately, lines can be found everywhere from the paneling on a house to that sidewalk stretching off into the distance. Think of lines like highways across an image which direct the eye and draw it in.
Rule#3: Get In Closer!
Obviously, this is a pretty dramatic example but I think you get the point. When our eyes take in a scene the brain is able to instantly pick out the most interesting parts and zone out everything else but a camera isn’t as advanced. It shows you everything which usually includes clutter or someone walking by in the background or that dusty old dryer (*wink) so don’t be shy when it comes to shooting. Move those feet!
Hope these helped and congratulations on beginning your photography adventure :)