First I want to start with a poll about your camera use/knowledge. Are you:
1. A lover of taking pics of my family and beauty around me. I don't own a DSLR.
2. A lover of taking pics of my family and beauty around me. I own a DSLR, but still learning.
3. Interested in taking more than just my family, and would like to pursue maybe a business in it someday. I own a DSLR.
4. I'm amazing. I could teach YOU this post.
Leave a comment! I guess until I know a little more about you, I will assume that we all love our family and maybe just want to take better/more images of them, and the great things around us. I'm also going to assume the majority also own digital 'point and shoot' cameras, which are great!
So rather than focus on camera knowledge, I want to talk today about something 'outside of the box'.
How many of us do this: see something we like and snap the picture, with it right in the middle? I did of my cute hubby last Christmas with a 3 megapixel point and shoot.
I'm sure I'm not the only one, so today I would like to talk about composing your images to get the most out of them. There are a lot of things that will help you do so, but I want to talk about the rule of thirds and diagonals.
The picture of my husband represents the rule of thirds. When you are framing your image, imagine it is broken into nine equal boxes, or with three intersecting columns each side. The best images will intersect at those lines, so while his eyes are ideally on the first horizontal line, the image would appear better if his nose and the kitten intersected the first vertical line as well. For example:
Her eyes intersect the first vertical line and one intersects right at the second horizontal, drawing your eyes right into her face. (Plus she's gorgeous so that helps too :))
Another technique that helps diversify your image is to think about diagonals while shooting. For example:
There are three intersections in this picture, from the couple, roof and tracks. Eventually the couple and roof will also intersect. (Oh Geometry, why didn't I pay more attention?) Shooting vertically (or portrait) and looking for intersecting diagonal lines will make your images be significantly more aesthetically pleasing than before. I admit, I made the line that the couple created by simply turning the camera. Some would say this is against the rules, but my opinion is that rules are meant to be catered to artistic whim. :) Ok, maybe just photographic rules. (There is also a name for that technique, but we'll save that for another day) Ideally, had I placed the couple right on the intersection of the tracks and roof, I would have created a focal point immediately. It's up to you, but focusing on lines in life will help you make the most of your images. Here is another image that incorporates both diagonals and thirds:
Her eyes are not perfectly on the line, which is my bad, but I still feel it is generally fun to look at. I admit, most of these pictures have been taken with a professional camera, so here are some shot out of two point and shoots: A canon 3 megapixel and a Nikon 7 megapixel.
The two images were shot in Utah and in Chile. The one of the cute little girl also in Utah, and again, had I paid more attention her eyes would have been exactly on the first horizontal line. Basic principles like these can help make your images unique and set you apart as the 'official' family photographer! (Be careful, you might not really want that job) :) So pick up your camera, whatever it is, and start shooting! Making images that are uniquely you is what it's all about!