The photo challenge this week really got me interested.
I was a bit shocked to find that not many of my plant photos obeyed this rule, so the other day I went out in the garden armed with my macro lens in an attempt to rectify this state of affairs.
For those that don’t know about this rule, it is all to do with where in the photo layout you put the main subject. (It is also to do with where things like horizons are placed, but that is another story.)
If you divide your photo into 9 areas using two vertical and two horizontal lines then you have a guide as to the best place to put the main features i.e. on one of the line intersections.
I was aware of the rule as I was taking my pictures, but as always a degree of cropping was still needed. I thought it would be useful for both myself and others to experiment a bit with the layouts of the photos. Please do comment on the results; all constructive opinions are valued.
Here is a starter photo of some winter aconites.
You can see firstly that it is overexposed – something that happens all to easily with bright subjects. Also there is a distracting white mark in the background and an out of focus flower in the foreground.
I cropped the photo, grouping the Aconites around the bottom right intersection.
Then exposure was reduced and highlights increased showing more detail on the petals and darkening the background.
Here are some more photos, before and after.
A bit of tweaking, reducing exposure and slightly upping the colour saturation, helped, as well as putting the orange stamen exactly on the top right intersection.
But it looked even better when it was cropped to a square size, still with the stamen on that intersection point.
This cyclamen photo doesn’t look anything special, in fact it looks a bit silly stuck up in the middle of the picture.
When the cyclamen takes up almost all the frame and is on the top left intersection it is much better.
I hope you agree that the cropped photographs all look better than the originals – this is an easy technique well worth trying.