How to Use the Rule of Thirds When Shooting

June 6, 2014 by - Digital camera vs film camera, Digital cameras compare, Smartphone camera vs digital camera

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Have your digital camera shoots been a little bit lacking lately? Are you finding that your pictures a little bit–to put it bluntly–boring? It may be because you’re sniping them instead of just shooting them. Putting your subjects right smack in the middle of your viewfinder creates dull, static images.

However, where should you place the subjects of your digital camera shoot if not the center?

The simple answer is off-center, but it’s a little bit more complicated than that. Many photographers use what’s known as the rule of thirds in their digital camera shoots to create more interesting shots of their subjects. Here’s how you can apply it.

Turn on the Grid Display.

Most cameras nowadays have a grid display. Navigate through its menus to turn it on, and you’ll see what looks like a tic-tac-toe board laid over the camera’s LCD display. If your camera doesn’t, then try to imagine such a grid.

Find a Point of Interest.

What’s the point of interest you want to shoot? Say for example you’re having a digital camera shoot of your dog chewing his bone. Will you focus in on his paws holding the bone, his open mouth gnawing on it, or on his eyes? You can also experiment by taking pictures of all three focal points, too.

Align the Focal Point With One of the Grid’s Interstices

Now it’s time to actually apply the rule of thirds to your digital camera shoot. Instead of putting the focal point right smack in the center of the middle box, put it in the crosshairs of one of the grid’s four interstices. This puts the subject just off center to create an interesting, dynamic picture, but still close enough for people to get what’s going on.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter if you buy the biggest, best pieces of equipment that online digital camera stores have–if you don’t learn to apply basic artistic principles like the rule of thirds, your digital camera shoots are going to be lacking. If you have any questions about using the rule of thirds, feel free to ask in the comments. More:

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