Breaking the Rules of Composition: The Rule of Thirds
Dec 17, 2018
As beginning photographers, we worked hard to master the basics of image composition. At some point, the composition of your photos becomes second nature, which means that moving beyond what you've learned can be intimidating.
You may even be asking, "Why should I break the rules?" ... "What's the point of breaking the rules?"
Who are your favorite photographers? Are there any common themes you notice in their work? Some of my favorite photographers are those that shoot portraits of nontraditional composition; this motivated me to think beyond the rule of thirds.
Often, interesting composition is what draws us to an image. Learning how, when, and why to incorporate nontraditional composition into your photography can help you take your work to the next level. Not only knowing the rules, but knowing when to break them, can set you apart from the myriad other photographers out there!
Begin by diving into the work of your favorite photographers. You might bookmark the images you revisit again and again and again. You'll probably notice that the rule of thirds is consistently broken in many of these photos.
Don't let your equipment, the so-called rules, the vision of the majority of other photographers, technical standards, or anything else define your photography journey. You are the storyteller. Let this guide you.
I've included some images, below, that break the rule of thirds. Remember that these photos work for me and my business because I made them. Also, it takes practice and hard work to be effective in breaking the rules of photography.
Hone in on your vision of what you want an image to be, then press the shutter.
As the slower season approaches, think about stepping outside of your box. Study. Shoot with your soul. It is my hope that this inspires you to take a photographic journey of self-discovery in the new year.