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PHOTOGRAPHY: COMPOSITION - THE RULE OF THIRDS

WORKSHOP: Teach photography students of any age the first golden rule

Preparation and arrival

As students are arriving, have a set of digital cameras ready to go. Basic cameras are now so cheap, you can have a cupboard full. It is worth buying cameras that take AA batteries. No hassle having to recharge all the time. In many cases, students will be able to use their phones. There are pros and cons. Use your judgement.


As students enter, randomly pair them. At times, not so randomly! Never allow students to pair themselves. Use your experience and knowledge of them to make smart choices. By the time most have arrived, they are paired and holding a camera and you ask them to have a seat for quick instructions.


Five Minutes of Instruction

On the screen you will have this image:

TEACHER SAYS:

Ever seen this? You might have spotted it as an option on your phones or cameras. This grid is known as the rule of thirds. And as you can see, the idea is that we divide the screen into three vertical and three horizontal sections. Where they meet is called the “hot-spots” or focal points. And this idea has a long history, going back into the world of painting. It’s to do with composition – where you place items in your frame. And what is most pleasing and interesting to the eye. Now look at these:

As you scroll through the shots, point out only briefly how they use the guiding grid. It is also important to touch on the idea of “pleasing the eye”, but don’t take more than 5 minutes at most. They will get it.


As you can see, when things are OFF centre, they are somehow more interesting, more dynamic. In these pictures, the SPACE around things is as important as the objects themselves.



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