Place the Subject Off-Center - Just a little...

We never suggest there is something wrong by placing the subject in the center of your viewfinder. However, placing the subject off-center can make the composition more dynamic and interesting to the eye. The best-composed photographs don't usually have their subject at dead center.


Well, in photography, they called it the one-third-rule (1/3). Placing the subject in the dead center lacks dimension. And one-third rule caught attention with proportion of formatting and balancing. It's very hard for anybody to follow this - one of the factor is, almost all cameras now are autofocus and the focus indicator in the viewfinder usually is in the central spot, the manual focus cameras have a indicator of exposure too. These might lead the photographers to place the subject usually in the center of the picture frame.

HOW to avoid this ? A simple solution is, after composing the picture in the viewfinder, spared ANOTHER ONE SECOND to see how your subject is placed in the composition, moving your composition left and right and determine the location of the subject of interest.

Pre focus

Most cameras (except the manual cameras), including the P&S cameras allow preset focus and exposure as well. Just point the center sensor at your main subject, hold the shutter release halfway down, then move the camera until you like the composition and trigger the shuttle release. Don't worry, your photograph will have the subject in perfect focus even you shift the composition - as long as you are holding the shutter release halfway down - your focus is lock and so do the exposure reading.

A side effect of pre focusing is that most exposure meter (reflected light meter) provides the "ideal exposure" reading based on reflectance of 18% gray (a medium gray). Exposure isn't very critical with color negative film because of the wide exposure latitude - means over or under exposure to 2 1/2 stops can be returned by the lab (slide films have much less tolerance), avoid focusing on something that is pure white or black, pre focus on something reasonable mid-tone.

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