09 Shoot with the Rule of Thirds
Obeying the rule of thirds is one of the more popular ways to ensure strong compositions, and is a technique often used by landscape photographers. Imagine a 3×3 grid in the frame and place points of interest where those lines meet.
Combine this technique with the right camera settings and you’re almost guaranteed a winning shot, as photographer Pawel Kucharski proved with this image, which was taken early in the morning in the Connemara National Park in Ireland.
Pawel carefully composed his shot to make sure all the natural elements were working together, sitting on the points where the lines of a 3×3 grid intersected, and utilising the stone path in the foreground to lead the eye through the frame.
“The water was at a low level, which meant I could use the natural stone path to create a pleasing composition,” he explains.“I used a wide-angle 16-35mm lens at 16mm and set the aperture to f/10.”
To enhance the water and the sky, Pawel extended the shutter speed. “I wanted to increase the exposure time, so I attached a dark Heliopan three-stop Neutral Density (ND) filter to my lens. This meant the shutter could be opened for 31 seconds, which created the soft blur in the water and sky.”
The timing of the shot was also crucial, and Pawel waited patiently for the sunlight to hit the field in the background. “You need persistence and perseverance, because most landscape photography requires you to capture the best light,” he says.
“The best opportunities come at sunrise and sunset, so you need to be set up and waiting at these times.”
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* Look for natural leading lines in the scene to draw the eye into your image.
* When framing your shot, think in thirds and try to off-set the main focal point to one side.
* Use a wide-angle lens to incorporate as much of the scene as possible.
* Attach a filter to increase the shutter speed. Make sure you pack your tripod and if necessary weigh it down, because any wind movements will ruin the shot.
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PAGE 2: Shoot the city drenched in rain
PAGE 3: Shoot a studio portrait
PAGE 4: Shoot an abstract image – then rotate it!
PAGE 5: Shoot liquid still life photography
PAGE 6: Shoot a surreal portrait
PAGE 7: Shoot woodland wildlife
PAGE 8: Shoot – and stitch – a panorama
PAGE 9: Shoot with the Rule of Thirds