The Rule of Thirds is the first composition rule most of us have learned when we started doing photography. There are times when it works, of course – but sometimes, centering your subject is a much better choice, yet many photographers tend to avoid it. In this video, Haze Kware of Hk Visuals discusses when centering your subjects is a better option and how it can improve your photography.
1. Works great with wide-angle lenses
When you photograph people with wide-angle lenses, there will be some distortion and your subjects may look weird if you place them near the edges of the frame. The impact of distortion is minimal when you center the subject.
In addition, as Haze puts it, this can give an “epic” feel to your environmental portraits shot with a wide-angle lens.
2. Playing with symmetry
If you shoot in a symmetrical environment, centering your subject will add to the symmetry. This creates the feeling of balance and it can work great for some shots. My first thought when someone mentions symmetrical shots is Wes Anderson, and as I watched the video, I realized that Haze likes his work, too. So, if you need examples for symmetrical compositions that work perfectly, check out some of his work.
3. Increasing the feeling of isolation
Centering your subject can increase the feeling of isolation. If you have leading lines in your shot that would guide the viewer’s eye to your subject, this will additionally contribute to a striking image.
4. Works great when using frames
Centering your subject also works great when you use frames, or a frame within a frame in your shots.
There are plenty of choices when it comes to composing your photos, and the final choice is always up to you. It’s important to know the rules, but don’t just apply them randomly. Be aware of the environment, the subject and the story you want to tell. Make conscious decisions and think about how the composition will contribute to the story. And these were only some examples that will help you opt for centered compositions and make the best out of your shots.