I have been a photographer for six years and I am very passionate about the art of photography. It is the means by which we not only create influence and beautiful masterpieces, but it is also a way to freeze history and memories. A few of the basic elements of photography include the rule of thirds principle, leading lines, and depth of field.
This image was done by Caryn Esplin, a Communications professor at BYU-Idaho. She has won several awards for her stunning fine art photography and she teaches photography classes on campus. More of her work can be found on her website: http://www.carynesplin.com/
Rule of Thirds:
Having a subject completely centered in an image is not as appealing to the human eye as having it off center. The rule of thirds is an invisible grid that helps us place our subject so that it is aesthetically pleasing in the frame. As you can see, the subject of this image, the man, is placed perfectly on the rule of thirds lines. When photographing a person, their eyes should line up perfectly with the top rule of thirds line, one their eye should be placed on the intersection of the horizontal and vertical lines.
This is an image that I took. You can see more of my work on my website: sgphotoco.com
This image also follows the rule of thirds principle. The subject’s eye is placed on the intersection of the horizontal and vertical lines, and the composition is very pleasing.
This is an image from Megan Kelley photo design, a local photographer and graduate of BYU-Idaho.
This image is an example of leading lines. The river leads your eye into the center of the image, and toward the subject. You want the lines in a photograph to keep the viewer looking toward the center of the photograph and the subject.
This is a photograph I took at a Marina during sunrise.
As you can see, the lines in the boat lead your eye toward the subject and toward the center of the frame. The last thing you want is for lines to lead your viewer’s eye out of the frame or toward the edges of the frame.
Depth of Field:
This is another image by Caryn Esplin. It was taken at the Bannock Ghost town.
This is shallow depth of field, because the background is very blurred as opposed to the subject which is in focus. Shallow depth of field is nice because it puts all the focus on your subject and creates a very clean, simple image.
This is a photo I took on a hiking trail near Bear Lake.
The flowers are in clear focus and the background is blurred, which is shallow depth of field. I wanted the focus to be on the flowers, and for the mountains and water to just be a backdrop.
These three elements create visual appeal and interest in your photographs. Rule of thirds creates framing that is pleasing to the eye, leading lines direct your viewer’s eye where you want them to go, and depth of field creates the mood and focus of your image.