Camp Ipad Photography: Rule Of Thirds

I cannot express the importance of teaching the rule of thirds EARLY in your photography class. I do it right after point of view. I love to show this quick youtube video on the rule of thirds because it just spells it out in a simple way. I show many examples with, and without the grid or tic-tac-toe lines.

With the little kids I stress the importance of putting whatever the subject its on the LEFT on the RIGHT but NOT in the MIDDLE. This becomes our rule of thirds mantra and we say it together as a class. “On the Left on the Right, Not in the Middle.”

Not to say that putting your subject in the middle is wrong, rules are made to be broken! When something is begging to be perfectly symmetrical, or in the middle, rule of thirds won’t necessarily work. But always try! This is digital photography, we can take thousands of pictures here!

I like to give my younger students a beanie baby to photography, because A, I have SO MANY and B, they’re adorable. We also review point of view here too. So I’ll show them a Rule of thirds shot of a beanie baby in a dramatic bird’s eye or worm’s eye view and quiz them at this point. Then for their shoot on this day they will be expected to take rule of thirds pictures in bird’s eye and worm’s eye view while keeping the beanie baby on the right or left side, NOT in the middle.


Camp Ipad Photography: Point Of View

I always begin photography with Point of View. Right away I want my students to get into the habit of getting down low like a worm, or up high like a bird. This gets them close to their subjects and thinking about what angle to best shoot something from.

Before I even hand them cameras we talk about how a worm and bird see the world. If you were a worm in this room, where would you be? I ask for volunteers to physically show us how to be a worm. This brings them straight to the floor. I explain how photographers get down and dirty if they have to get the best point of view.

Next, I ask them how a bird sees the world: from above. I ask them how they would be a bird in our room? Student volunteers will carefully stand on a table or chair. We talk about how we can be high up around the school, or even just standing over someone who is sitting. I tell them how if I were to photograph a party I would try to get a bird eye view of everyone dancing and I might stand on a chair to get the whole room.

In the past, I have taught this lesson without cameras. Following the above intro I have given out paper cameras so students can get used to looking through a view finder. Then, I handed out paper so they can draw a bird’s eye or worm’s eye view. Next class they got the cameras and they were super ready to be worms and birds.

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