Moving from Center

If you follow the Rule of Thirds (described in the preceding section), you will naturally move things away from the center of the frame. But if the Rule of Thirds is too hard for you to remember or employ, when you look through the viewfinder, just repeat this mantra, "move from center." We have been told since we were toddlers to always color within the lines. So naturally, we have a tendency to want to center everything. Get it nice and orderly. But centered subjects are often static and boring. Asymmetry often gives us more dynamic and interesting images, as shown in Figure 19-2.

Figure 19-1:

The Rule of Thirds says to place your focal point close to an intersecting point on the grid.

Figure 19-1:

The Rule of Thirds says to place your focal point close to an intersecting point on the grid.

Here are a few tips to get you moving from center:

^ Either move your subject off center or move your viewfinder and place the focal point off center.

^ In landscapes, avoid placing a horizon line dead center. It makes your images look like they're cut in half. Instead, position the horizon one-third or two-thirds of the way up. A low horizon creates a dreamy and spacious feeling, while a high horizon gives an earthy and intimate feeling.

ajjjIf you have an autofocus camera, make sure that you lock the focus when moving from center. If you have an autofocus camera, you'll need to lock the focus when moving from center because the autofocus sensor will lock onto whatever is in the center of the viewfinder — not on your desired subject. Autofocus can also be problematic when trying to do something as simple as photographing two people (in this case you may want the two people in the center), and your camera keeps focusing on the space in the distance between them. Here is how to lock the focus:

Figure 19-2:

Asymmetrical composition can make an image more dynamic and impactful.

Figure 19-2:

Asymmetrical composition can make an image more dynamic and impactful.

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