Lines, Thirds and Depth

Photography is one of the common forms of art these days. It’s easy when you carry a high-quality camera in your pocket everywhere you go. There are many elements that can make a photograph great. In this post, I’ll be analyzing three different elements in three different photos. They include leading lines, rule of thirds and depth of field.

All three of the photos featured in today’s post were taken and posted by a Utah-based photographer named Ammon Cluff. He is a self-taught landscape and adventure photographer and videographer.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ammoncluffphoto/

Squarespace: https://ammon-cluff.squarespace.com/


Leading Lines 

 

Leading lines are lines in a photo that guides the viewer’s eyes through the photograph and draws focus to the subject. Leading lines can be straight, diagonal, curvy, zig zagged and so on. In this photograph, the leading lines are diagonal. The photographer placed an object close in the foreground and used a viewpoint from almost ground level to achieve leading lines that guide the eye from one side of the frame to the other. This allows everything in the photo to be seen.

Mimicking the style of the first photograph, leading lines can be found everywhere. The trick is being able to recognize them and then capture them in a way that represents them. Leading lines can really make the difference in any photograph. As seen above, the lines in the photo lead to the same area or point.


Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a solid way to achieve focus on the subject in a photograph. Utilizing the rule of thirds can help lead the viewer’s eye through the photograph, just as was discussed with leading lines. Balance in a photo can be accomplished by positioning the main or most important subject of the photo along the lines and where they intersect. The man in this photo is aligned with the right side of the grid. Notice even further that the line where the lake meets the mountain is also along the bottom horizontal line of the grid.

The rule of thirds is also utilized in this photograph. There is a main subject in the photo and because she is placed on one of the lines, she balances the photo and is the main subject. To make this photo better follow the rule of thirds, I could crop it so the top of the couch falls on the top horizontal line. I focused the subject on the right side of the photo to mimic the first example of using thirds.


Depth of Field

depth2

 

Because photographs are two-dimensional, it’s important to emphasize the depth which was seen by the photographer when they took the photo. One way to do this is by placing an object in the foreground. This helps the mind to know how far the photographer is from every object in the photo. In this photo, the cello and the cellist are the objects in the foreground. Because of the focus on these things, you know that the rock in the background is relatively far away.

DSC_0546

This photo that I took uses depth in that it is focused on one object and the rest are somewhere in the background. This brings focus to the object and the mind is able to understand that the objects in the photos are at different distances. It is the depth of the photo.


There are many elements and guidelines in photography that can help make a photo great. Leading lines, the rule of thirds and depth of field are just three. They are significant ones and they are most commonly used and recognized in photos. Remember these elements when analyzing or even taking photos.

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