Greetings and welcome to the next article on Travel Photography.
This one is for those of us who have a DSLR, select the option to show GRIDLINES, you will then have something like the following in your view finder.
The four points where these lines intersect are the strongest focal points. The lines themselves are the second strongest focal points.
If you have an autofocus camera (P&S), you can use the autofocus points as references to help you to imagine the grid. If you use an LCD screen to compose your images you can make a rule of thirds grid out of a clear sheet of contact film, or you could draw it on your viewfinder with permanent marker.
The rule of thirds suggests that the viewer’s eyes naturally go to certain points of interest in the photo and not the center. It identified these points of interests and suggest that if you place your subject right in these points of interest and play along with the viewer’s natural way of looking at an image, you may have created a well balanced shot which is more appealing to the viewer.
OK, so which point do I use?
The point or line you place your subject on does matter. While any of the points or lines will add emphasis to your subject, some are stronger than others. When an object is alone in an image, the strongest position is the left hand line. If you are shooting for different cultures, where information is read right to left – in this case the right hand line is the strongest.
The bottom right point is the strongest for multiple subjects and the upper left point is the weakest. Placing a background subject on the right and the foreground subject on the left will confuse the eye and lead to confusion in the viewer about which subject is dominant.
How does this work for travel pictures?
Here is an image that I took of Sydney Harbour, for those that are interested here is how the shot was set up:
Camera: Nikon D200
Focal Length: 12.0mm
Metering: Center Weight
Remote Shutter release: Yes
With Gridlines applied, you can see that the shot is composed and works well.
With some cropping applied in your favorite editing software, where the top 3 squares of the image are removed you now have an image that friends and family will go WOW over.
Please feel free to comment or ask questions of the Author and look out for more Travel Photography information and tips.