I much prefer the artistic, or creative, challenges – rather than the technical!
Rule of thirds / Odd numbers / Diagonals
You need to imagine your frame has been divided into a 3x3 grid – not quite square, as your frame isn’t. Then the challenge is to try and place the subject on those lines. A connected concept is the idea that humans prefer odd numbers, so if you are going to have multiple objects forming the subject, then you should aim to have 3 or 5 of the object. In this photo of the squirrel you can see that he almost on the left vertical ‘third’ line.
The other connected concept is the idea of taking photos that contain diagonal lines, which tend to create a dynamic image. I really like to use this when taking photos of buildings, to really give the impression of the building soaring into the sky.
Leading lines / frames / ring of light
An easy way to focus attention on a subject is to visually lead the eye to it. One way is through the use of lines – more commonly you may use the footpath, or a road, but in this image the line of the cannon neatly directs you to Geoff’s lovely face!
Another way to is to create a frame within the image – like this image of me standing in the doorway in a side street in Krakow. It would be even more effective if the image was of me through the doorway, but I wasn’t just going to let myself in.
Another version of a frame is to surround the subject with a ring of light – not in the 1980’s way of creating a halo and minimising wrinkles, but ideally to maintain the colour accurately and highlight the subject. This one is easier in natural light, but I had fun trying to create the effect with a street light and a shrub.
I’ll take any excuse to play with depth of field when taking photographs – and my camera actually defaults to that when on the auto setting if the subject is far enough forward of the background (and close enough to the camera). Blurring the background in this shot really draws attention toblossoms.