Most Important COMPOSITION Rule for Photographers – Ignore the Rule of Thirds
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Most Important COMPOSITION Rule for Photographers – Ignore the Rule of Thirds

October 14, 2019

fill the frame fill the frame fill the frame seriously fill the frame you hey gang guess what today’s conversation is about yeah fill the frame you know I’m I’m honestly kind of dumbfounded as I’m lecturing and I’m spending time with meetup groups it boggles my mind how many images I see people taking in camera and they’re using literally as much as 1/10 to 115th of their frame for their subject I’ll give you an example photographers shooting a portrait in a workshop I look at their LCD screen and their subjects head is literally one-tenth the size of their frame it’s dead center in the frame and I ask the question why would you do that why would you not get closer and fill the frame now the crazy part is I get one of two answers every single time the first group is the group that’s lazy you know who you are the second group is the group that’s afraid yeah it’s true let’s talk about the first group the lazy ones this is the group that doesn’t bother moving the focus spot out of the viewfinder and since the photographing people it makes sense you want the face to be in focus so they put the face in the center of the frame every time and their answer is I’ll prop it in Photoshop and if they’re shooting a portrait they wind up using about a tenth of their frame which means they’re wasting a lot of pixels guys you spent a lot of money for those pixels why wouldn’t you use them that has a major impact on the sharpness and the clarity of your image now the other group the ones that are afraid when I ask them why they don’t fill the frame they told me that they’re afraid to crop off a shoulder or crop off the top of the head because they may not like the way it looks later they tell me that they’re still not confident about the rules of composition so they figured that if they leave extra space they can work it out when they’re in post-production now this is a little bit lazy but more importantly it’s not teaching you anything taking photographs with the attitude that I’ll fix it in post is never going to give you consistently good results I mean come on seriously grow up hair crop it in camera every now and then you’re going to regret the decision that you made that’s part of the learning curve and that’s how you learn to get good with big cameras and the way you want to crop your images you notice I’m not talking about rules of composition the rule of thirds to hell with that stuff you will find that if you fill the frame with your subject and honestly it doesn’t matter if you’re talking about photographing a person or you’re photographing a landscape or insects it doesn’t matter fill the frame with everything that is important and leave out everything that’s not if you do that you will be amazed at how good your compositions are even without considering the rule of thirds or any of the other composition rules but most importantly you spent a lot of money for those pixels take advantage of them don’t be using a very small piece of your viewfinder to set up a shot and crop it later that is not giving you the best possible image that your camera is capable of providing you capisce okay so get in there get tight fill the frame that’s all for this week until next time keep learning keep thinking and keep shooting adios thanks for watching if you find these videos helpful please give them a thumbs up and subscribe so that you don’t miss a single episode and if you’ve got a question that you would like answered please post it in the comments section below your question could be my next video

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  1. Thanks for this one, Joe! I've always framed my subjects tightly because I just couldn't help it. I've always thought of my approach as "tight framing to the point of insanity." I've always felt like I was "breaking the rules," but I just couldn't stop … and I really didn't want to, anyway. After watching this video, I think I'll worry about it a lot less …

  2. Hi! My name is Phil, and I'm a portrait photographer. "I'm Phil the frame'. Lol!
    Jokes aside; My style has long been to fill the frame. I shoot 'landscape', I crop in camera, cropping the top of the head and aligning the eyes with the upper third of the frame, with a 1/10th gap at the foot of the frame. My tripod and lights perform all the magic!
    Good luck all and a happy 2018! x x

  3. The rule of 3rds came so naturally to me! I'm so grateful to have a natural talent of Photography 📸❤ Thanks for the video!

  4. Love the bluntness approach! I may have just found my new favorite youtube photographer! 😀

  5. Ironically you have not filled the frame of your own video with your computers taking up more space than your face 😉

  6. The third group are the ones who are asked to place editorial content in the picture. Your points are truly sage, Joe, but so many art directors want editorial content on the picture, and that does require dead space. Otherwise, you are correct on this.

  7. Fill the frame is why I got into photography in the 1960s. I saw how my relatives were taking photos with the persons in the photos so tiny they were sometimes unidentifiable.

  8. I am so quirky of being in group two! I am afraid…. my wife tells me all the time why did I leave so much headspace.. now your video and here you are, telling me I have too much headspace! I spent a lot of money on these pixels. I better use them 🙂 thanks for a great video

  9. Reminds me of my first photography class admonition… “Why are you shooting this picture” and I was challenged to take two (2) rolls of chrome for a Nikon FM (Manual) and one 50mm lens to the Dominican Republic.

  10. Just started watching your videos……so very helpful and informative. Thanks for your energy and knowledge!

  11. Thank you for this Joe. I have been developing a project photographing old mannequins in antique and goodwill stores. You have encouraged me to get really, really close, and so far not one of the mannequins seems to be bothered by it at all.

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