The Rule of ThirdsHave you ever heard of the rule of thirds? The rule of thirds is a way of looking at a photo. If any of you have any experience in Art you may be familiar with something similar. Imagine that from top to bottom and left to right of your view finder or display there is three equal lines horizontally and three equal lines vertically splitting your view into sectors like a map or a simple jigsaw puzzle. Some modern digital cameras may have a function build to view this but it is best to get to grips with it and not relying on the camera to do it for you. The purpose of this rule is to help you stop and think more about what you are going to take, as well as helping with composing the result you want.Points of FocusThink about in which section you want your main point of focus to be. Generally pick out a point where a horizontal and vertical line would intersect these are strong places for your eyes to catch, since our eyes do not stay focused in the centre of where we look they dart around and these points are good for catching attention because of this. Work from your chosen point positioning the camera and objects within each section. Try to fit something new in each section of the photo this doesn’t have to be a full object could be a tiny change of colour.Stop!That’s right stop! Once you are confident that you have the photo that you want stop, Take a moment to look over what is in your photo before you take it. Go through each section and make sure there is nothing to spoil the setting you have created. If you are taking a landscape photo double check for bits of litter or small spoilers and half cut objects, if these are unwanted. If you are taking a portrait photo then double check for no flying bits of hair or unwanted body crops.Taking the photoNow that you are definitely ready to take the photo you want take more than 1 shot without changing the position. Take more than one? Yes take more than one of the same subject, in the same position but a little differently. take a few shots with different camera settings. Some darker and some lighter than the original photo this gives you a wide selection to pick from later if your not pleased with the lighting of the first. In a future article I will talk about different techniques and software to improve creativity by using more then 1 photo with different light exposures so it will be useful to start getting into the habit of doing so.Are you serious?!Yes I am serious now that you have learnt a little about the Rule of Thirds I want you to start breaking this rule ignore the lines, pretend they do not exist. As photographers we should not be condemned to follow rules. Think of it more as a guide line than a rule it is useful for thinking about a photo and composing but never be stuck inside those lines feel free to use your imagination.And Remember “You don’t take a photo, You make a photo!”Ask Yourself – Are You a Stand Up Clicker?If you are the kind of person who stands up straight with their cameras out at arms length looking at an LCD screen clicking away photos of everything you see, ask yourself, are you serious about developing your skills as a photographer? If you are serious about wanting to develop your skills and passion for photography you need to get out of this habit right away. Understand that developing yourself as a photographer takes work and a lot of self learning. Keeping your camera at the average eye level of a human brings nothing new to your perception. Try to take different shots of the same subjects but from different areas and compare the out come. Get used to the idea of being down on a knee or lying on the ground or even just getting up a bit higher over a subject rather then straight on you’ll be amazed how the world changes perspective at a slight repositioning, think about the term “one has to suffer for their art”. Just remember to try different things in photography and have fun, try abnormal positions like take a photo up the end of a building looking at the sky rather than straight into the front of it. Stand on a chair over a portrait subject or lie down beside them, don’t make your model do all the work show you are willing to work with them. If you have to get real muddy and wet to get that great photo you want do it! You will feel much better about yourself and your photography knowing how much effort you put into to taking something special. Almost always your photos will reflect how much hard you have put into them.Remember, RememberRemember nobody can tell you what is the right and wrong way to do in photography as everybody percepts the world in a different manner. you wont go to jail for holding your camera diagonally or in any other position, other photographers and friends may critic and dislike what you take but in the end photography is about what you are proud of not anyone else so don’t let others discourage you, unless of course you are being paid to take a photo a certain way for someone. Photography is a infinite learning experience even those with years behind them and a masters degree learn new things about photography as time goes by so don’t be discouraged if you keep finding out new things. Read all that you can and all that you want about photography tips and techniques are good to use and learn but try to develop your own style of taking photos.Opportunity, Opportunity, OpportunityStart to think like an opportunist, try to see objects and places of interest as subjects of learning. Everything you see before you is a photographic learning experience that “boring looking chair” or that “old wooden door” all have something to learn from taking photos of these and other objects or scenes you find useless or not of interest bring more knowledge of how shadows will fall or how certain shapes will come out in your photos. Don’t think of photos as just “something nice to look at” we all have those terribly bad photos but you learn from these, In fact, try going out your way to take bad photos just for the learning experience and to get then out your way of creative flow, It is better to take a bad photo than not one at all, what do you have to learn then?Visit my website for more information on Wedding Photography, or visit my BLOG to catch the latest tips and special offers.