Whether it’s a portrait of your grandmother on mother’s day, your dog in a park, or a national park at sunset, every picture tells a story. However, not every picture tells an interesting story. But how do we differentiate between the pictures with interesting stories and the ones that are drab and boring? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Just like understanding metaphors helps one understand what’s going on in a novel, understanding some basics of photo composition helps you to understand the story you’re trying to tell. The basics we’re going to go over today are the focus, lines, and rule of thirds.
The first thing we’re going to look at is focus. Explaining focus is pretty simple. Focus is just what in the photo is clear and what is unclear. The center of what is clear is the focal point and this is the part of your photo that is most legible and generally what people’s eye spot’s first. Some of the most eye-catching photos utilize focus in a way that clearly tells the audience (the people looking at the photo) what they’re supposed to be looking at.
This picture is a great example of focus making a picture catch your eye. You see and think “ooh what’s going on here?”. And that’s what focus does. The lack of focus around the lens of the camera directs your attention to the water and mountains that are quite literally in focus.
Now let’s talk about lines. Lines are created in photos when your eyes are led in a certain direction. It is easier shown than explained, however, so here you go.
In this photo what is the first thing you notice? It’s the lighthouse. This is because the seawall creates a line that points your eyes straight at it. Lines don’t automatically make a breathtaking photo but you would have a laborious time trying to find a photo that pops without lines. Even if you look at the alpine lake picture. The out-of-focus mountains in the background created lines that pointed right at the focal point. Lines make your pictures go from 0 to 100 real quick.
The third basic piece of photo composition is the rule of thirds. This is the idea that your subject should never be in the middle but instead should be resting on the intersection of lines dissecting your photo into vertical and horizontal thirds.
Simply putting your subject in the middle of a picture doesn’t do much to create intrigue. It doesn’t allow your eyes to flow to the subject, it just puts them in the middle and tells you to deal with it. By using the rule of thirds you have a much more pleasant photo but also it gives you more room to interpret the photo it asks “what is he looking at” or “what’s over there”. Creating questions builds interests.
There are lots of tricks you can use to curate a collection of eye-popping photos for your socials, but using these three can only help. An important thing to remember is no photo is perfect. But if you think a photo looks cool, it forces you to ask questions, and it follows at least one of these basics, it’s going to be interesting to others as well. Your social media is a reflection of you, these tips enhance the clarity of your reflection.
If this blog was helpful, check out some of our other blogs here. Until next time!
Turn your website into your best lead generation tool with custom design, build-out, and maintenance.
Search Engine Optimization
Put your business at the top of the search rankings with intuitive search engine optimization.
Paid Ad Management
Leverage data-driven paid search and advertising to get the most for your ad spend.
Pivot your social strategy to grow your community and capitalize on your content marketing.