But a lot of the “rules” of photography have not evolved. Over the years I have heard a lot of instruction. Some good, some bad. But there are certain rules that I heard over and over again. Some of them are still helpful. But many of them need some updating, some refinement, or just need to be ignored.
Rule #1: Rule Of Thirds
This is absolutely a rule that you should learn. The rule of thirds is a great way to get photographers, especially newer photographers, thinking beyond the simple snapshot.
But once you get past the snapshot level…it just holds you back.
Don’t just follow the rule of thirds. Look for interesting shapes in your compositions. Whether you are photographing a mountain at sunset or a child at dawn, a photo is made up of a series of shapes and lines. Arrange them to create something…symmetry, leading lines, triangles. Try balancing your composition, then try unbalancing it. This is what an experienced photographer means when they say work the shot.
Very few show up to a scene or a portrait shoot and say, “I know exactly what composition I’ll use,” then snap one shot and leave. The rule of thirds is not always the answer. in fact no rule is always the answer (that’s kind of the theme of this article).