Rules, rules, rules.  Everywhere you go there are rules to follow and photography is no different.  ’Rules in photography?’ I hear you say. ‘But it’s supposed to be a form of art!’.

Photography most definitely is a form of art, and a great one at that. But there are also certain rules you can follow to make your photographs more aesthetically pleasing to the observer.

I suppose ‘rules’ isn’t really the right word to use, these are more like ‘techniques’ you can use to help you with composing a shot.

The first is one that most photographers will have heard of before – The rule of thirds.

The rule of thirds is a compositional tool that relies on the main subject being placed at a point in the frame that is a third away from the edge.  If you look through the viewfinder and imagine that it’s split up into thirds, horizontally and vertically, with lines so that it looks like a naughts and crosses (tic tac toe) board.  Where the lines intersect are supposed to be the best places to place a subject or if you are shooting an horizon, it’s best to place it on one of the horizontal lines.

The second rule is – Use lead in lines.

Lead in lines are exactly what they sound like.  Lines that draw your attention into the photo.  These can be anything from a small jetty to scaffolding or lines on a road.  Anything that leads your eye into the frame.

The third rule is – Implied diagonals.

Implied diagonals is a tricky one and one that really needs to be thought about when you first start trying to use it.  Essentially, an implied diagonal is an invisible line that runs diagonally through an image.  In the snow image below there is an implied diagonal between the two trees and the building, there is also an implied diagonal between the sun and jetty in the sunrise image.  Implied diagonals are a very strong compositional tool and one that is definitely worth getting your head around.

But as we all know, rules are meant to be broken and some of the greatest photographs break these rules. So these really aren’t rules at all but techniques you can use to help improve your compositions.

Happy Shooting!

Pics By Nick - Mangrove Path

Pics By Nick - Snow

Pics By Nick - Sunrise