Photo Basics – Framing

Framing of a shot is always top of the list in discussions over whether it’s a good or bad shot. There are a couple of rules to follow, which you should follow. If you want to break the rules then you should have a reason for doing so rather than just being a naughty rebel.

The first and biggest rule is called the Rule of Thirds.

Basically you imagine the scene with lines splitting up in to 3 sections across and down. Where the lines cross are your points of interest. So for instance if you were looking at a landscape you might want to put the horizon on the bottom line there giving the bottom section for the foreground and the other two for the sky. If you had two people in there, perhaps get their eyes in the top crossing points.

There is so much out there covering this subject that you may or may not agree with. What I would say is always follow this rule until you are famous enough to be able to break it. Some of the great artists broke rules. But when they do it people raise an eyebrow and discuss the artists intentions. For the rest of us mere mortals breaking the rules just makes it look like we don’t know what we are doing.

The other rule you must follow is always make sure it’s straight. Your horizon must be flat. Hold the camera correctly and get it straight. Your fingers of your left hand must be under the lens and never on top. Your thumb goes on top of the lens with the lens sitting in the palm of your fingers. Your right hand holds the side of the camera with your index finger hovering over the shoot button.

If you are holding your camera with your left hand fingers on top of the lens you are guaranteed to do two things – You’ll get wonky photos. And secondly you’ll be broadcasting to the world that you don’t know what you are doing. Please feel free to openly laugh at anyone holding the camera incorrectly.

Also don’t forget vertical lines. They need to be straight as well if they are supposed to be straight that is.

There are other rules on framing but for a beginner this is enough for now. If you can get things straight and get the interesting points of the shot on those lines then you will be well on your way to taking great shots.

Are you made for this?...