Photo Tip #8: Silence the Photo Police (Pt. 1)

Part 1: The Rule of Thirds
The first topic is the rule of thirds. Although we teach the rule of thirds on Photo Safari and we believe it's important for everyone to understand this "rule", there are times when the rule just doesn't apply. For instance if you are taking a photograph of a sign with a lot of information because you want to remember that information, you should square it up, center it and shoot it, plain and simple. Don't get me wrong, this is not an interesting photograph but it's the right thing to do for the goal at hand: to have a record of a sign. What about when you want a nice photo? Is it ok to center? What about the image of the sunflower right in the middle of the frame? Or the happy child? Although there are a million different ways to take a picture of a sunflower, in what can be argued as more interesting angles it can't be argued that it's wrong. If it has great lighting and texture etc. this can be an amazing image even in the center of the frame.
So whether you are using the rule of thirds or centering the image, the point is to think about why you are choosing what you are choosing and to choose well; your goal should be to communicate a vision, not following a rule. Below is an example of a picture in Patagonia. It's can't get more centered than that.

Want to get better at thinking outside the rule of thirds? Join us for Manhattan Photo Boot Camp.