Photography is more than just taking photos of whatever you want. It takes practice, skill, and knowing the rules. Below I have analyzed a three different photos and how well they used the rule of thirds, leading lines, and depth of field. In addition, I have taken my own photos that illustrate these three principles.
Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is met by dividing your image into thirds both ways, and putting points on interest along the intersecting lines, or the lines themselves. I have analyzed this photo of a beach at sunset. I was unable to find the photographer’s name, but you can look at the photo here.
As you can see, the photographer put the piece of driftwood on the bottom left intersection. My only complaint about this photo is that the horizon is a little bit below the top thirds line. The horizon should usually be placed perfectly along one of the lines.
This is a picture I took of the Rexburg temple at sunset. I placed the temple on the bottom right intersection, and the horizon on the lower thirds line. Because I used the rule of thirds, nothing in the picture is centered and it looks more visually appealing.
Using leading lines in Photography is very important because lines naturally draw your eye to the subject of the photo. I analyzed this photo of tulip fields by Jim Zuckerman. You can see this photo and more of Zuckerman’s work here.
The natural lines between the tulip fields naturally draw the eyes to the windmill, which is the subject of the photo.
This is a photo I took at the Idaho Falls Shop, Love at First Bite. They have rows of different olive oils and balsamic vinegars in their store, so I decided to take an angled shot of the canisters, utilizing the lines the canisters formed. This photo also displays Depth of Field, which I will talk about next.
Depth of Field
Depth of Field is the range of focus in your picture and can help the viewer to know what the subject of the photo is. I analyzed this picture of colorful lightbulbs. I was unable to find the photographer’s name, but you can look at the picture here.
Notice how the green lightbulb in the front is in focus, but the rest of the lightbulbs behind it are blurred.
I took this picture of a candle in my kitchen. I focused in on the candle, so that the background of the photo would be blurred. This demonstrates depth of field.
Applying different techniques like the rule of thirds, leading lines, and depth of field can make photographs look more appealing to the eye and more professional. There are times however, when these rules can be broken to create an even more professional look. Just remember, you have to know the rules in order to break the rules.