Photography Reverse Engineer


Rule of Thirds

Photographer: Gabor Jurina
Photograph: National Post

The Rule of Thirds is basically taking a picture and drawing two lines horizontally and two lines vertically to create a grid. The grid has nine different sections. Typically, the most aesthetically pleasing photographs do not have their subject right in the middle of the grid. The subjects are usually placed in the upper or lower quadrants and slightly to the side. This picture of Meghan Markle uses The Rule of Thirds. Photographer Gabor Jurina utilizes The Rule of Thirds and places her model, Meghan Markle, close to these lines. Supporters of this technique say that aligning the subjects of the photos with those lines creates more interest and tension in the photo.

This is a photo that I took of my brother before junior prom. The main two subjects in the photo are my brother, Alex, and the basketball. I used The Rule of Thirds in this photo by placing the two subjects on the lines that create the nine different sections. This adds visual interest to my photo. The two points of interest in my photo fall perfectly on the intersections of the horizontal and vertical lines.

Leading Lines

Photographer: Bruce Gettey
Photograph: New York City Feelings

In photography, leading lines serve as a way to draw focus to a specific part of your picture. These lines make it easy for your eyes to follow and look where you are supposed to look. For example, in the photo above by Bruce Gettey, the streets act as leading lines that pull your focus to the Empire State Building. While some leading lines are intentional, others are not. I do not know if the photographer was using the streets as intentional leading lines, but they certainly help the composition of the photograph.

The leading line of this photo that I took in Big Sur, California, moves your eye horizontally across the photo. It leads your eye from the bridge to the cliffs that tower of the ocean. This technique is especially net for landscapes because it helps lead your eyes while looking at the beautiful scenery. Our eyes are naturally and instinctively drawn to lines in photos.

Depth of Feild

Photographer: Bill Brady
Photograph: Adorama

The depth of field is a technique that can be used to enhance photos. The depth of field is the area of the photo that appears in focus. The size of that area varies from picture to picture. Some pictures have large depths of fields, and others have small depths of fields. The picture that is shown above has a large depth of field because only the lower-right corner of the photo appears out of focus. Some factors that will affect the depth of field are the aperture, distance from the subject to the camera, and the focal lens of the camera. By isolating certain areas of the photo, the photographer can create a certain mood and feeling. The depth of field of the churros really shows the texture and the delicious cinnamon and sugar coating.

This picture, like the picture before, also has a large depth of field. While the sunglasses are in focus, the background is not. The blurred background makes the sunglasses the focus of the photograph. Harold Davis said, “Depth of field is a key compositional element in many, if not most, photographs. It is one of the most important tools a photographer can use to create striking images”.


Using the Rule of Thirds, leading lines, and depth of field can really enhance my photographs. This year I purchased a Canon DSLR and I am excited to use these techniques and hopefully improve the quality of my photos. However, I know that the only way I will really get better at photography is by going out and taking a lot of pictures. Practice makes perfect.


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