One week sailing Croatia.

As many people who travel know, a one-week trip can be filled with adventure and emotions.  But what I didn’t know is that it can also give you a chance to learn and gain experience, laugh out loud all day and see the another side of each person who made up our group of five.

Our travel adventure was based on the idea that sailing around the Croatian island would be the best way to emerge into the Croatian lifestyle, and it did not disappoint.

The only way to explore the islands of Croatia is by boat.  The islands have remained steeped in history and rich in Croatian culture.  Settling sail the first day we embarked into an unknown world and a wonder filled adventure.


Day 1: Andorra / Dubrovnik / Split

 

Our trip started in Andorra (a small country between Spain and France) we all met up and drove down to the airport in Barcelona. Our flight left early in the morning and landed in Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik: Although we did not have much time to visit, Dubrovnik is a spectacular little town surrounded by a fortress right on the seaside. All the little houses and buildings are basically made a like, that’s what makes this town so amazing.

We spent some time near the port, where we encountered a really nice food market. They were cooking entire pigs on a stick (amazing).

After a short time in Dubrovnik we took a 3-hour bus ride to Split. The bus ride was really nice, it went alongside the coastline and at one point we crossed through Bosnia.

We arrived in Split in the afternoon, where we had a 30 min. drive to the port of Kastela (where the boat was waiting for us). After a few moments in ‘’ panic mode’’, since we could not find the charter company and were starting to think we would not get a boat, we finally got everything in order and were united with our lovely boat: RAVA. It was bigger than expected and looked just right for our trip. With three cabins, a bathroom, an open kitchen and lots of on deck space. We were ready to roll. 

After a long day traveling we decided to spend the first night in the port and set sail the next day.

 

Day 2: Split / Blue Lagoon / Paklinski Island                 

 

Since the hole crew was exited to set sail, we woke up early to get a fresh start on our second day. We prepared everything, and were up and running in no time.

As we left the port, we could see the sunrise just appearing behind the port. That sunrise immediately set us in a relaxed mood and our vacation mode was ON.

Sunrise Over Split

Sunrise Over Split

We set sail to Blue Lagoon. Blue Lagoon is nestled between the two islands off Krknjasi. Krknjasi, is the perfect place for snorkeling or swimming because of its amazing crystal clear waters. We spent most of the day there, as we explored the area and just chilled for the rest of the day.

We set sail again, direction the Paklinski Island, that’s when the real sailing experience started. It took a couple of hours to get to Paklinski, but seemingly our crew was already in expert mode. Everybody pitched in and were attentive to the captain’s instructions.

The peacefulness felt as we sailed the ocean was mesmerizing. I could see the whole crew was getting used to this sailing life.

The Paklinski Island is an Island in a zigzag form and so it was perfect for us to try our freshly learned anchoring technics. As we entered the creek we saw quite a few boats parked for the night and that was exactly what we were looking for, that kind of raw sailing experience. Although it was everybody’s first time anchoring a boat, I must say we did a pretty good job at it. And so there it was… our boat was anchored and prepared for our first night in the open waters.

We all prepared the outdoor table and got ready for super. With a home cooked meal and quite a lot of wine, we where all set. We spent hours talking, laughing and enjoying the peace and calm that we could feel. There was no city lights, no car noises, no loud talking, just the sound of the waves and the wind blowing through the trees.

 

Day 3: Paklinski Islands / Vis / Stiniva beach

 

We sailed off into day 3 at about 7am in the direction to the island of Vis.

The Island of Vis is the farthest inhabited island on the Croatian mainland; it ‘s not a very big island and has two main towns: Vis and Komiza.

When we got to the island we quickly filled up the gas tank and then decided to walk around the town. It was quite a fun moment as we walked on ancient cobbled roads and took pictures of almost everything as the entire island was still beautifully preserved. We found a surprising amount of cats hidden inside the town. We stopped for a much-needed beer and relaxed as we talked about the first moments of the trip.

After our visit to the town and our much-needed pint of beer we made our way back to the boat and set sail for Staniva Beach. We had read that it was one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, and boy it did not disappoint.

As soon as we anchored the boat we went on to explore this little piece of wonder. The beach is situated between two cliff walls and is about the size of a pool. The most amazing thing was sitting on the beach and staring into the emerald green water that opened up into the sea. It was like a magician had sprinkled fairy dust all over the beach and transformed it into this magical wonder.

We then headed back to the boat and enjoyed another great meal. We talked about our deepest thoughts, told a few funny stories, drank more wine but mostly enjoyed the great music coming from the next-door boat it was a great evening.

It was a really great place to spend the night, the boat was hidden from the wind and water currents, so we had a good night sleep.

Day 4: Stiniva beach / Blue cave / Komizca


On day 4, we could already feel the fatigue come knocking on our door, but even fatigue couldn’t dampen our spirits we were motivated to continue our journey and we prepared to sail into day 4 in the direction the Blue Cave. The blue cave is one of the most visited destinations is Croatia, it is located on the Island of Bisevo right next to Vis, and its total population is about 12 people (I’m not kidding).

We anchored at a beach near the cave where someone came and picked us up in a little motorboat to take us to the cave. The entry fee was about 70 kunas’’ which is about 6 euros.  The boat ride wasn’t very long and the guide was very friendly. We entered the cave through a small man made opening and suddenly appeared on the other side where we could see this very bright blue water and as you put your hand in the water it glowed a bright bluish color. I have to admit it would of been fun to be able to swim in the cave, but due to mass tourism and the caves fragile eco system you can only enter with a guide and cannot swim in the waters of the cave.  But it is still worth it.

We took a group decision and decided to stay in the port of Komizca for the night. Unfortunately the port was full and we had to anchor right next to the port, this turned out to be rather fun. As a treat for surviving 4 days on a yacht as novice sailors we decided to eat in the town of Komizca. After a much needed on land shower, we were lucky to catch what I would consider the most beautiful sunset of the whole trip. The sun was this bright orange and the moon was a opaque white; it was amazing.

We had supper in a lovely seaside restaurant, where they served all kinds of Croatian seafood, it was splendid.

After supper and a drink, the whole crew ended up at this seaside music festival. The beach was covered with all these lights, which formed different shapes on the floor and walls. The music playing was a relaxed indie kind of music. We had a great time dancing around, and the people there where really nice.

Coming back to the boat we lost our annex boat and practically spent the whole night and early hours of the morning looking for it. At sunrise the next morning our tired crew made their way onto the deck for breakfast where on of the crew spotted something floating in the water in the distance, turns out it was our annex boat, which we had not tired up securely at the port the night before. We couldn’t stop laughing as some of the crew had to return the other boat, which we took because we assumed someone had taken our boat. I have to say it was really funny to watch, the scramble to get the (stolen) boat back to shore before anyone noticed it was missing. The crew were great in this little moment of crisis.

Day 5 : Komizca / Scredo island

 

Although day 5 started with all of us being pretty tired it was still a fun day.

We got some breakfast, filled our boat with much needed supplies and got in motion. We where headed in the direction of Scredo Island. Even if I slept most of the way, the few moments I was awake and on deck I was lucky to see what must have been the calmest sea ever. The water looked like a silky bright blue, not a cloud was in sight and not the slightest breeze. It was picture perfect.

After stopping at a small port around the island, we anchored in a small creek. After a nice supper we were all completely out of it and headed to bed early.

Day 6 : Scedro island / Hvar

 

Day 6 started strong, we woke early enough and prepared everything to visit the island of Hvar. The island is famous for its important strategic and nautical position and has a rich history marked by its culture and natural monuments.

The village of Hvar is not very big, but it has a lot of monuments such as churches and other historical architecture.

It was quite nice to walk through the ancient stone roads as we passed by these different stores selling mostly local made products. The village was bustling, not only from tourist visiting but also the locals. We visited the fortress at the very top of the village, where you can see the entire village and have an amazing view of the Paklinski Island and a few other islands.  The sea was calm with the sun shimmering on the water, it was breathtaking.  We stayed there all morning and into the afternoon and left the island quite late.

After a long day sight seeing we did not travel very far before we anchored the boat since it was getting late. We anchored in a quiet little creek and visited the beach which was really nice and peaceful.

 

Day 7 : Hvar / Bol / Split

 

As we woke up to start day 7 we all had a bittersweet felling in our stomach. We knew it was our last day on the boat, but we also new how lucky we were to have lived this experience.

We decided to spend our last day on the Island of Bol where the Golden Horn is located. The golden horn is a beach that extends into the ocean like a horn on the Island. This was the first sand beach we encountered the entire of the trip, since all the other beaches were just big rocks next to the sore.  We visited part of the Island, and it looked like a great place to spend on another trip to the Islands.

We spent most of the day on the beach, until it was time to return to the port were it all started.

The sail back to the port was great. We had the music on, we were all giving our thoughts on the trip, and there again was bright orange sun set and just when we thought we had seen everything two dolphins appeared out of nowhere. It was honestly the best way to end this sailing trip.


 

Day 8: Kastela / Split center

 

We had an early wake up on day 8, since we had to do the check out of the boat.

After getting everything ready, there we stood, in front of what had been our home for 7 days, our little piece of paradise. We said goodbye to RAVA and left the port.

After a 30 min taxi drive to the center of Split, we left our luggage and went to visit the little town of split.  Split is quite commercial, but architecture wise it is the same as Vis and Hvar.  It had lots of little shops everywhere but the best part of the town was the ancient ruins in the center of the town.  Although half destroyed, what was left of the ruins was kept as a main feature of the town and that made the town rather special for us.

We had a nice dinner in the town, after that we went for drinks in another part of town which came to life at night. The bars were filled with young people ready to party. Although we are quite the party type, we ended up going strait to bed because we had an early flight to catch the next day. That was our wonderful last night in Croatia.

 

Day 9: Split / Milan (Amsterdam) / Barcelona / Andorra

 

Day 9: Our last day.

 

It was with a heavy heart that we got ready to go to the bus station. We all got up and packed our stuff and headed to the bus, after a 30-minute ride, we arrived at the airport in Split. I must say, I have been to my fair share of airports, but nothing was quite like this airport. As soon as the bus dropped us off, we had to do our boarding and baggage check, at the outside of the airport (it was quite strange), after waiting in a long line, we finally got to the front desk.

To cut a long story short.  We had an overbooking problem on our flight and one of us had to fly via Amsterdam and arrived a few hours later that us. Even if we had that little hiccup, the flight back was quite fun, we were sending pictures to our friend so he could follow the trip with us.

All in all, it was an intense trip. We learnt a lot sailing skills and what it was like to travel a country by sea.  What I will keep from this journey is that Croatia is a wonderful place to visit, with its spectacular views and historical landmarks, with its breathtaking sea points and its beautiful architecture.

Also, I was very happy with the travel team (my friends), and still to this date remember the awesome moments spent with that bunch of weirdo’s.

So if you want my advice, sailing through Croatia should be a must on everyone’s bucket list

The Exposure Triangle: The Fundamental Elements of Exposure

The Exposure Triangle: aperture, shutter speed and ISO

When I started in the photography world, words like Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO were foreign to me, and it took me a couple of weeks to take pictures in full manual mode after read a photography book and look in Internet to obtain more information. You might be feeling a little confused, and you may even feel like you will never get your camera out of Auto mode, because it’s just too hard to understand. But I’m sure after read this post you will start to try by yourself in manual mode and experiment the different possibilities.

What is Exposure in Photography?

In the simplest of terms, exposure for photographers refers to how an image is recorded by camera sensor and how much light is captured. Basically, it determines what the image you capture will look like.

Understanding the Exposure Triangle

ISO, Aperture and Shutter are known as the “exposure triangle”. If you know how to control or adjust these elements on your camera, taking well exposed photos will not be a problem for you. Take your time to know your camera and find each adjustment. The most important thing before all, it’s to know your controls and how to change them to have a correct exposure.

Copyright https://www.exposureguide.com/exposure/

Copyright https://www.exposureguide.com/exposure/

With the experience, you will be able to make the correct adjustment faster and faster. Finally, it has to be by intuition, as a athlete in any sport.

The three elements are:

  1. ISO – the measure of a digital camera sensor’s sensitivity to light

  2. Aperture – the size of the opening in the lens when a picture is taken

  3. Shutter Speed – the amount of time that the shutter is open

It is at the intersection of these three elements that an image’s exposure is worked out.

Most importantly – a change in one of the elements will impact the others. This means that you can never really isolate just one of the elements alone but always need to have the others in the back of your mind.

Side 1: Aperture

Aperture. Aperture controls the brightness of the image that passes through the lens and falls on the image sensor. It is expressed as an f-number (written as “f/” followed by a number), such as f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, /f4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, or f/32.

A wider aperture (or lower f-number) means more light will be let in by the lens, simply because the opening is larger. A narrower aperture (or higher f-number) allows less light to reach the sensor.

  • SMALL numbers (like f/1.8) = wide open aperture (large opening).

  • BIG numbers (like f/22) = small aperture (teeny opening).

Another thing that can be affected by aperture is depth of field, or how much of your picture is in sharp focus. A wide open aperture (small number) will make less in focus, and a closed down aperture (big number) will make more in focus.

Copyright https://www.better-digital-photo-tips.com/deep-depth-of-field.html

Copyright https://www.better-digital-photo-tips.com/deep-depth-of-field.html

Try to use Aperture Mode in your camera to see the difference between wide and small apertures.

Side 2: Shutter Speed

In photography, shutter speed or exposure time is the length of time when the film or digital sensor inside the camera is exposed to light, also when a camera's shutter is open when taking a photograph. The amount of light that reaches the film or image sensor is proportional to the exposure time. 1⁄500 of a second will let half as much light in as 1⁄250.

If you have a wide open aperture, your shutter speed will need to be faster, because you’re already letting a lot of light in the lens opening. If your aperture is small, your shutter will need to move slower, so there is more time for light to get to the sensor.

If you want to freeze the action, or hand-hold your camera, then a faster shutter speed is needed. If you want to create blur, then you need a slower shutter speed. 

Copyright https://lottiesimpkinsgcsephotography.weebly.com/shutter-speed.html

Copyright https://lottiesimpkinsgcsephotography.weebly.com/shutter-speed.html

You can try your Shutter Priority Mode to obtain different results. Long exposure is amazing when you take pictures by night but remember to use a tripod to have more stabilized shots. As you play with these different priority modes, notice what the camera chooses for the rest of your settings. The more you pay attention to these things, the more knowledge you’ll have to be able to set everything yourself in the future.

Side 3: ISO

ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. The same principles apply as in film photography – the lower the number the less sensitive your camera is to light and the finer the grain. ...

Copyright http://stylenoviceblog.blogspot.com/2015/07/dslr-basics-aperture-shutter-speed-and.html

Copyright http://stylenoviceblog.blogspot.com/2015/07/dslr-basics-aperture-shutter-speed-and.html

By choosing a higher ISO you can use a faster shutter speed to freeze the movement. But take care about this, higher ISO means higher grain on your pictures.

Copyright https://www.exposureguide.com/exposure/

Copyright https://www.exposureguide.com/exposure/

In low light conditions, you should increase your ISO to obtain a correct exposure.

Side 4: EVs and Stops

Almost all digital cameras have an Exposure Value (EV) Compensation setting. This setting is needed because the camera can sometimes make incorrect assumptions about the lighting of a photo. Changing the EV will make sure your photos are always correctly exposed.

In photography, a "stop" is a widely misunderstood concept, feared by many because it sounds so complicated. However, it's actually very simple:

A stop is a doubling or halving of the amount of light let in when taking a photo.

For example, if you hear a photographer say he's going to increase his exposure by 1 stop, he simply means he's going to capture twice as much light as on the previous shot to obtain the correct EV.

This amount of light captured while taking a photo is known as the exposure value as said previously, and it's affected by the exposure triangle - the shutter speed, the aperture diameter, and the ISO. These are all measured using different units, so the concept of "stops" was invented as a convenient way to compare them.

Forward, perhaps I will repeat some concepts but if you understand what they are the stops and how the 3 variables can affects your pictures, you will understand the exposure triangle and how to use it at any moment.

STOPS AND SHUTTER SPEED

Shutter speed measures how long your camera's shutter is left open during a shot. The longer it's open, the more light it lets in, and the greater your total exposure will be. Doubling or halving your shutter speed produces an increase or decrease of 1 stop of exposure.

Common shutter speed stops.

Common shutter speed stops.

For example, changing from 1/100 of a second to 1/200 lets in half as much light, so we can say we've decreased the exposure by 1 stop. Similarly, going from 1/60 to 1/30 lets in twice as much light, giving a 1 stop increase in exposure.

Most cameras allow you to adjust shutter speeds in increments of 1/3 of a stop, so 3 turns of the dial either way will adjust your exposure by 1 stop.

STOPS AND ISO SPEED

ISO speed describes how sensitive your camera's sensor is to the light that hits it. A more sensitive sensor will produce the same overall exposure from less light, meaning that you can use a narrower aperture or faster shutter speed in the same conditions.

Common ISO speed stops.

Common ISO speed stops.

ISO is measured using values that correspond to the ASA scale for film, with a higher ISO number relating to a more sensitive sensor. As with shutter speed, doubling the ISO number gives an increase of 1 stop, while halving gives it a decrease of 1 stop.

For example, switching from ISO 100 to ISO 200 doubles the sensor's sensitivity, producing a 1 stop increase. Moving from ISO 800 to ISO 400 is a 1 stop decrease. Most cameras let you change ISO speed in increments of 1 stop.

STOPS AND APERTURE DIAMETER

Aperture is measured using the "f-number", sometimes called the "f-stop", which describes the diameter of the aperture. A lower f-number relates to a wider aperture (one that lets in more light), while a higher f-number means a narrower aperture (less light).

Common aperture stops.

Common aperture stops.

Because of the way f-numbers are calculated, a stop doesn't relate to a doubling or halving of the value, but to a multiplying or dividing by 1.41 (the square root of 2). For example, going from f/2.8 to f/4 is a decrease of 1 stop because 4 = 2.8 * 1.41. Changing from f/16 to f/11 is an increase of 1 stop because 11 = 16 / 1.41.

As with shutter speed, most cameras let you control your aperture in 1/3 stop increments.

STOPS ARE INTERCHANGEABLE

The great thing about stops is that they give us a way to directly compare shutter speed, aperture diameter, and ISO speed. This means that we can easily swap these three components about while keeping the overall exposure the same.

Let's say you're shooting a scene using a shutter speed of 1/60 of a second, an aperture of f/8, and an ISO of 200. You find that while the scene is well exposed, your subject is turning out a bit blurry, so you decide to increase the shutter speed to 1/120 of a second.

This change of 1 stop will result in the next photo coming out dark, because you're now letting in half the total light as before. In order to correct this, you need to reclaim that 1 stop reduction from somewhere else. Now that we have a way of comparing settings, this is simple.

You could open the aperture wider to let in more light - moving from f/8 to f/5.6 is an increase of 1 stop, so we've got back to our original exposure. Alternatively you could double the ISO speed from 200 to 400, again resulting in a 1 stop increase.

As you can see, stops are a really easy way of adjusting our camera's settings while making sure we don't ruin the photo's overall exposure.

Conclusion: CONSIDERATIONS WHEN ADJUSTING EXPOSURE

When adjusting the three components of exposure you should be aware that each one affects your photos in other ways, which may not always be desirable:

Shutter speed - If your shutter speed is too slow your photo may blur, either from movement of the camera or movement of the subject.

Aperture - A wide aperture produces a narrow depth of field, so if you make it too wide you may have trouble keeping everything in focus. On the other hand, a narrow depth of field can help to isolate the subject, and is often something that you want; if so, you need to avoid using a narrow aperture.

ISO speed - The more you increase your camera's ISO, the more digital noise your photos will exhibit. This can make your image look grainy and reduce its sharpness.

As with everything in photography, adjusting these three settings is a balancing act. You need to decide what effects you want in your shot and choose settings that will produce them while minimising the potential downsides. Exposure stops are a really useful tool for doing this, helping you swap settings around with ease and giving you more control over your scene.

Did you enjoy this article? Please share it!

15 Basic Photography Composition Rules: improve your photos!

Before you just step up and take a picture you should consider what you want your viewers to look at and how you should display main points of interest.

There are no fixed rules in photography, but there are guidelines which can often help you to enhance the impact of your photos.

In this tutorial, I’ve listed 15 of these guidelines with examples of each. I’ve started with the most basic ones and finished with some of the more innovating composition techniques.

Before all, I need to define the word “composition”. It refers to the way the various elements in a scene are arranged within a frame. They aren’t rules for this but guidelines as I’ve mentioned already. But we need to remember that they’ve been used in art for thousands of years and they really help us to obtain more attractive results. I always keep in mind some guidelines when I’m shooting as an instinct thinking.

#1. Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is very simple. You divide the frame into 9 equal rectangles, 3 across and 3 down as illustrated below.

I wrote about this basic rule in my previous post. you can follow this link for more deep information:

https://www.migueldasilva.net/blog/rule-of-thirds-start-taking-superb-photographies

#2. Balacing elements

Placing your main subject off-centre, as with the rule of thirds, creates a more interesting photo, but it can leave a void in the scene which can make it feel empty. You can achieve a balanced composition and even out the main subject's "visual weight" by including another object of lesser importance to fill the space.

Copyright Jason Row

Copyright Jason Row

#3. Centred Composition and Symmetry

After the first and second guideline where I’ve told you not to place the main subject in the centre of the frame, I’m going to tell you to do the exact opposite! There are times when placing a subject in the centre of the frame works really well. Symmetrical scenes are perfect for a centred composition.

#4. Fill The Frame / Cropping

Sometimes, leaving too much empty space within a photo can make your main character appear smaller than you’d like. Of course, this can come in handy if you’re trying to capture how small your little one is next to a particular person or thing. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to zoom in close on your subject or “fill the frame.”

#5. Frame Within the Frame

Framing is the tactic of using natural surroundings to add more meaning to your subject.  It could be anything such as bushes, trees, a window, or even a doorway like in the picture at the top of this page.  In the process of doing this you need to be careful that you don’t only focus on what’s framing your subject.  Make sure you focus on the main subject, and also it is a good idea to use a narrow aperture (high f/stop) to achieve a high depth-of-field.  It also wouldn’t hurt if the part of the picture framing the subject was darker so make sure you take your light reading on the main subject.

#6.  Leading Lines

Leading lines help lead the viewer through the image and focus attention on important elements.

When we look at a photo our eye is naturally drawn along lines. By thinking about how you place these leading lines in your composition, you can affect the way we view the image, pulling us into the picture, towards the subject, or on a journey "through" the scene.

There are many different types of line - straight, diagonal, curvy, zigzag, radial etc - and each can be used to enhance our photo's composition. Anything from paths, walls or patterns can be used as leading lines.

Take a look at the examples below.

#7. Simplicity

Simplicity is the method of keeping the information in a photograph relatively simple.  If your main subject is close, then your background should be very simple to avoid distractions.  You should try to keep everything not important much less interesting than what’s important in the frame.  Especially avoid lines or objects that lead the eye away from the subject.

#8. Change your Point of View

Before photographing your subject, take time to think about where you will shoot it from. Our viewpoint has a massive impact on the composition of our photo, and as a result it can greatly affect the message that the shot conveys. Rather than just shooting from eye level, consider photographing from high above, down at ground level, from the side, from the back, from a long way away, from very close up, and so on.

#9. DEPTH

Having fore-, middle- and background detail will add depth to your image as well as draw the eye through the picture. Compositional elements that compliment each other, for example with colour or by association, work well but do be careful with the size of objects you use and how you place them as you don't want the shot to be thrown off balance. You don't want a rock in the foreground of your landscape shot, for example, drawing the eye away from the hills and mountains in the background. Adding water to the foreground can also lighten your shot as well as adding an extra element of interest as it reflects the sky back out.

#10. Colors Combination

Choosing colors and color combinations for photography requires planning if not effort. Use of color in photography is an Art as old as photography itself but most of us don’t realize the importance of co-ordination and planning. In this guide, we will consider some tips to get the best color combinations when posing for photos. But first: we will consider the best color combinations for decorative landscape photos especially from the point of view of wall art and interior design.

As you can see in the portrait below, the green color of the dress meets perfectly with the tulips by intermediate colors.

#11. Foreground Interest and Depth

Including some foreground interest in a scene is a great way of adding a sense of depth to the scene. Photographs are 2D by nature. Including foreground interest in the frame is one of a number of techniques to give the scene a more 3D feel.

#12. BACKGROUND

How many times have you taken what you thought would be a great shot, only to find that the final image lacks impact because the subject blends into a busy background? The human eye is excellent at distinguishing between different elements in a scene, whereas a camera has a tendency to flatten the foreground and background, and this can often ruin an otherwise great photo. Thankfully this problem is usually easy to overcome at the time of shooting - look around for a plain and unobtrusive background and compose your shot so that it doesn't distract or detract from the subject.

#13. Patterns, Textures and symmetry

Texture can add a significant amount of interest in any picture.  When people see texture in pictures they start imagining what it feels like to touch what’s in the picture.  Texture is a good idea when your taking pictures of rocks, walls, surfaces, someone’s hands, or leaves.  In order to make a picture reveal a texture you must make sure the light is coming almost exactly from the side of the surface so it creates shadows in places key places.

Human beings are naturally attracted to patterns. They are visually attractive and suggest harmony. Patterns can be man made like a series of arches or natural like the petals on a flower. Incorporating patterns into your photographs is always a good way to create a pleasing composition. Less regular textures can also be very pleasing on the eye.

We are surrounded by symmetry and patterns, both natural and man-made. They can make for very eye-catching compositions, particularly in situations where they are not expected. Another great way to use them is to break the symmetry or pattern in some way, introducing tension and a focal point to the scene.

#14. Diagonals and Triangles

It is often said that triangles and diagonals add ‘dynamic tension’ to a photo. What do we mean by ‘dynamic tension’ though? Look at it this way, horizontal lines and vertical lines suggest stability. If you see a person standing on a level horizontal surface, he will appear to be pretty stable. Put this man on a sloping surface and he’ll seem less stable. This creates a certain level of tension visually. We are not so used to diagonals in our every day life. They subconsciously suggest instability. Incorporating triangles and diagonals into our photos can help create this sense of ‘dynamic tension’.

Incorporating triangles into a scene is a particularly good effective way of introducing dynamic tension. Triangles can be actual triangle-shaped objects or implied triangles.

#15. EXPERIMENTATION

It exists so many different composition guidelines or rules in art and photography that it only depends on you to search, follow them or simply try and experiment by yourself.

With the dawn of the digital age in photography we no longer have to worry about film processing costs or running out of shots. As a result, experimenting with our photos' composition has become a real possibility; we can fire off tons of shots and delete the unwanted ones later at absolutely no extra cost. Take advantage of this fact and experiment with your composition - you never know whether an idea will work until you try it.

Rule of Thirds: start taking superb photographies

Rule of Thirds: Composition Photography

The rule of thirds is an essential photography technique. It can be applied to any subject to improve the composition and balance your images.

This technique is a basic rule for artists, not only for photographers. This Rule of Thirds is perhaps the most well-known ‘rule’ of photographic composition.

It's an important concept to learn as it can be used in all types of photography to produce images which are more engaging and better balanced. If you take an introduction to photography class, more than likely, one of the very first things you will learn is the “Rule of Thirds”. Even if you haven’t taken a photography class, you have still probably heard this term.

What is the Rule of Thirds?

The rule of thirds involves mentally dividing up your image using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines, as shown below. You then position the important elements in your scene along those lines, or at the points where they meet.

Rule of thirds

Rule of thirds

As you’re taking an image you would have done this in your mind through your viewfinder or in the LCD display that you use to frame your shot.

With this grid in mind the ‘rule of thirds’ now identifies four important parts of the image that you should consider placing points of interest in as you frame your image.

Not only this – but it also gives you four ‘lines’ that are also useful positions for elements in your photo.

When taking your photo, you will want to ask yourself:

  • What are the most important elements of my photo?

  • Where should I should I place them within my photo?

Realize that your subject doesn't have to be exactly on the hot-spot, just near to it. You may have to movearound when shooting to make this happen and get best composition.

The Rule of Thirds states that a photograph has the greatest impact and ability to capture a viewer’s attention when your image subject and important foreground and background elements are placed in the composition near the junction of these lines. Horizons are best placed along one of the two horizontal lines, rather than in the center of a photo. Vertically oriented subjects, like people standing, are best placed along one of the vertical lines, with the person’s back closest to the edge of the photo, leaving room ahead of them in the direction they’re facing.

Rule of Thirds in Landscape Photography

New landscape photographers often mistakenly place the horizon right in the middle of the photo.  This tends to give the feeling of the image being split in two - which is not generally pleasing to the eye.

Knowing the rule of thirds is very helpful here, as placing the horizon on one of the horizontal lines will naturally balance the image and allow you to highlight the area of the photo that you want.

For example, you should place the horizon on the bottom line if you’re trying to highlight a beautiful sky or sunset. Alternatively, if want the focus to be on the land, you would place the horizon on the top line.

Rule of Thirds and Directional Movement

When you’re photographing a moving subject pay particular attention to the direction they are traveling.  You will want to place them near the hot spot or line on the opposite side from where they are going.

For example, if your subject is a jogger who is running from right to left, make sure place them on the right vertical line or hotspot.  This will give the appearance your subject moving forward and also show where they are headed.

Rule of Thirds and Where Your Subject is Looking

If your subject is looking in a particular direction, make sure to place them on the opposite side from were they are looking. This will leave empty space ahead of them and prevent the appearance that they are looking off into nothingness.

For example, if your subject is looking to the left, place them on the right vertical line.  This will provide more natural balance and allow the viewer to understand what they are looking at.

If you find that there are no determining factors on which side is better for placement, choose the right.  Because we read from left to right, our eyes will naturally focus more strongly on the right side.

BREAKING THE RULE

The Rule of Thirds is not an infallible law, but it is a good point of reference to keep in mind, just as artists have done for hundreds of years. Excellent photos can certainly be taken with your subject or horizon centered in the middle of the frame, but generally you’ll find that the Rule of Thirds really does improve the composition and balance of a photograph.

However, learn to use the rule of thirds effectively before you try to break it - that way you can be sure you're doing so in order to get a better composition, rather than just for the sake of it.

A few examples of when breaking the rule of thirds can make for a better photograph include:

  1. Highlighting the symmetry of a subject or location by centering the photo.

  2. Making a subject appear larger and more intimidating by placing them in the center of the photo.

  3. If you want to draw the eyes inward - perhaps a photo of a narrow pathway that you want your viewer to focus on.

  4. The subject is nicely framed and centering makes for a stronger photo.


EXTRA TIP

You can easily apply the rule of thirds to existing photos by cropping them. This allows you to reposition the important subjects in your image, moving them into more pleasing positions.

If you don’t get your perfect positioning in camera (and who does), you can use Lightroom and Photoshop, they includw a rule of thirds overlay to help guide you.