But I do and I want them. Rules improve my art.
My mother came to visit me in my new home in late August 2017. And what do you do with visitors when they come to visit you in Arizona and you live only 2.5 hours away? You visit the Grand Canyon—one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World! So, she and I went—twice. We ditched my husband the second time who believes if you’ve seen an amazing crack in the ground once, you’ve seen it enough. Though, he does want to take the two-week rafting tour down the Colorado River. I think it sounds wet, maybe even cold, but fun.
Now, my mom has been using her mobile phone camera to advantage since she and a longtime family friend took a month-long southwest United States driving tour together a few years earlier. She had purchased gizmos (that we will discuss in another post) to make her mobile phone an amazing tool for great photography. And she learned something spectacular on that trip that she imparted to me at the Grand Canyon...
… the Rule of Three. There are other rules: rule of twos, golden ratio rule, etc. But this one rule will transform any photo without doing anything else fancy with the phone settings. This is true for any camera.
The idea is to break the screen up into three columns that are cross-sectioned with three rows. You will end up with 9 boxes on your screen. This works whether the picture ratio is 16:9 or 4:5 or 2:3. Any ratio setting will work. You will find this option on most modern mobile phones. On my Samsung S7, the setting is found under the gear in the upper right-hand corner (when the camera is in portrait mode; left corner when in landscape mode) of the camera screen, then scroll down to “grid lines.” The choices are “3x3” or “square.” We want “3x3.”
How does this help? It creates interest in a photo. It can create a mood. Below are three pics I took this morning. The first shows our birdie friend in the obvious-traditional method we all learn: smack dab in the middle.
The latter picture tells a different story than the second. And both feel more dynamic than the first.
We can also align the subject within any of the three horizontal thirds as well.
We can get even more artistic!
We can center our subject over the cross-hairs that are created where the corner boxes meet the center box. If we want focus to center on the eyes, like in the pup picture below, we place any of the cross-hairs on the eyes.
I can't wait to see your art!
Darcien Balog (that's me) started as an amateur-amateur at everything in life. She started making renaissance clothing 20+ years ago and by 2013 had reached a skilled professional status. And so it has been with almost everything in her life, from schooling her children at home to crafting for resale to writing novels.