When we see photos we respond to them intuitively. Some images look great, some look poor, many are somewhere in between. There are many reasons for the difference in aesthetic quality, including colour, sense of depth, a sense of scale, perspective, and even our familiarity with the subject. One of the most noticeable aspects of a good image is loosely referred to as ‘balance; or ‘proportion’; think of how big the main subject is and where it stands in relation to the framing of the image.
We automatically like an image that is neatly proportioned. Getting this right goes a long way to producing good photographic results.
Using either the ‘golden ratio’ or the ‘rule of thirds’ (which are mathematically related) helps us get a neatly proportioned images. If we divide our photographic frame into 9 equal rectangles (the rule of thirds) and position our subject accordingly we quickly see how this can help produce pleasing proportions.
The golden ratio method of balance can be approximated by making the centre rectangle of the ‘rule of thirds’ slightly smaller than the surrounding rectangles. Some prefer this look.
Top wedding photography
A professional wedding photographer has long since learned to intuitively find a well-balanced, well-proportioned shot. There is a lot of room for variation and personal style, but good images almost always neatly fit into the ‘rule of thirds’ frame. Occasionally this is deliberately broken in order to achieve a certain effect, but even then we tend to notice that the photo is both unusual and pleasing.
Professional wedding photography
The best wedding photographer will spend a lot on time and effort learning to frame a photo, or in cropping the images afterwards to similar effect. This is not to underestimate the many other aspects of the best wedding photography, but neatly proportioning the subject matter is one fundamental element of a pleasing image.