Rule of Thirds
The Rule of Thirds states that the human eye prefers objects that are divided and aligned in a particular fashion. This rule is a fundamental principle of photography that will produce more interesting and original photos. How To Use First divide your scene or viewﬁnder into a tic-tac-toe pattern. Align your primary subject so it is at the intersection of any vertical and horizontal line - instead of in the center. The subject is represented by the dotted circle in the diagram. You can also use these horizontal lines to determine the appropriate amount of horizon - typically use 1/3 to 2/3 of the frame, instead of 1/2. Experiment placing your subjects off-center and you will be suprised by the results.
A photo lacking sufficient perspective may appear lacklustre and ﬂat. Many people unknowingly limit their perspective by a) taking all their photos at eye level or b)not including objects within the foreground/background.
How To Use
How to Use
Light can strike your subject from the front, back, and/or side. Front lighting produces a subject that is evenly light with minimal shadows and good detail, but with less deﬁned texture and volume. Back lighting produces a subject with prominent shadows, a bright silhouette, but foreground detail is usually diminished and darker. Side lighting or diffuse lighting (through clouds) produces a subject with good detail, texture, and volume - oftenly a happy medium.
Some of the best lighting conditions exist before 10 a.m. and after 3 p.m. Colors are flat and less vibrant in photographs taken around noon.
Obtaining proper exposure for a photo on a given day (in a given light) can be difficult, but don’t worry. Modern cameras take a lot of the work out of achieving a proper exposure for your pictures. How To Use 1) Find your subject and center the viewfinder crosshairs/box on the subject. Depress the shutter button halfway and hold. This will force the camera to choose a proper exposure by evaluating the light striking your subject (i.e. a face). 2) If satisfied with the preview in the viewfinder: compose the perspective of the desired shot, depress the shutter button fully to take the picture. Experiment centering on different subjects (sky, ground, colors) to see different real-time exposures reflected in the viewfinder/screen.
Jonathan Parker, Park Ranger
Did You Know?
There are 5.6 miles of canals at Lowell National Historical Park. The canals channeled the Merrimack River's 32 foot drop to Lowell's mills providing power for the mill machinery.