Celebration Challenge – Day 23 – Take better pictures!

Everyone has a digital camera these days.  Heck … I barely remember even shooting with a film camera.  Except for those long black ones with the manual film crank and the flash bulb cartridges on top.  Remember those?  Oh I do, and they were SO cool! 

Anyway … we all have cameras and we're all shooting pictures.  But, do you ever wonder why your pictures never turn out the way you thought they would? Or, do you wonder why don't they look like the ones you see online or in magazines?  

A professional photographer not only has a great eye, but will study all the elements … lighting, composition, grayscale, angles, shutter speeds and Fstops (and more!) and will create amazing images.  And, even though I can't wait to book your session, I know you are still taking snapshots of your own families and experiences all the time!  Sorry, I just won't fit in your pocket – bummer, I know!!

So, tonight I thought I'd start a series of posts that teaches you a few tips to getting a great shot by following three basic rules of composition.  Follow these rules and you'll love the images of your kiddos, your animals, and your adventures … even more than before.

Composition Rule #1 – The rule of thirds

The rule of thirds is all about the placement of your subject in your frame.  You can see this rule used in all types of photography.  In fact, next time you sit down to watch TV or browse through images on the computer, I want you to see how often you see this rule in action.  The simple rule is this … divide your frame into thirds and place your subject into one of those thirds. 

Here's how it looks … notice how my subject is composed on the line on the right?  Also, notice that his head is right where two lines intersect?  This is how to use the rule of thirds.   


Here's another example … it's not as precise, but notice that I composed my subject's eyes close to the top third of the image?  The eyes are the most important part of her face, so I composed the shot to place her eyes at a third. 


Last example … notice where I placed the feet.  Are they on a third?  Yup!  BTW … I love shooting pictures of feet.  It's so personal and such a cool perspective! 


Okay … so now your turn!  Go out today and take a few pictures.  Use the rule of thirds.  If you shoot a landscape, put the horizon on a third.  If you shoot a flower, put the center of the flower on a third.  Gonna take a picture of your dog?  Get close and put his nose on the third! 

Have fun and let me know how you did!  Then, come back tomorrow and learn all about the next rule!

Until tomorrow!





by bethany

show hide 6 comments

Kari HoltFebruary 24, 2011 - 12:06 am

I’ve got lots of pics to take this weekend during the race … hopefully I’ll have enough “clarity” to follow the rules!!

rachel peacockFebruary 24, 2011 - 6:15 am

So great! And you make it seem so easy! I will try 🙂

Adrianne BreesFebruary 24, 2011 - 8:00 am

I actually only partly understand what you’re explaining… I’m pretty dense with this stuff. lol But I’m gonna give it a try. My biggest frustration with my camera is that I feel like my flash makes everyone look super white. Is that one of your rules?

Catherine LaporteFebruary 24, 2011 - 2:01 pm

Thanks for the guide Bethany. Now all I need is a camera.

Vicki ClemanFebruary 24, 2011 - 10:37 pm

I hope I can remember this lesson. I think that I may need a self guided class if I want to take pictures of anything other than houses.

Jamielyn NyeFebruary 24, 2011 - 11:02 pm

awesome tips! I’m totally going to try this!!

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *



There was an error submitting your comment. Please try again.