REDPIX: Blog en-us Redpix Photography and Video (REDPIX) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:17:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:17:00 GMT REDPIX: Blog 120 107 iPhone training day. My top five composition ‘rules’.



There are many ‘rules’ of composition, or the way that you arrange the various elements in your picture. In photography, there are probably more than 20 rules that exist to help you improve your composition, and, hopefully, become more consistent with your results. Many of them have been used for centuries by artists, painters and sculptors, but for today, I’m going to list what I think are the most useful top five.

Before I do, and at the risk of contradicting myself, it’s worth saying that they should be seen more as guidelines, as there really aren’t any hard and fast rules in photography. So keep them in mind, and let them guide you, but don’t feel you've failed if your picture doesn't nail the intricacies of each point. Remember, photography should be enjoyed without the fear of having the rule book thrown at you. 



1: The Rule of Thirds

Ok, so the first rule, which I’ve said isn’t a rule, has ‘rule’ in the name, sort of implying it’s definitely a rule. Well, I didn’t name it! So let's change it to: The Guideline of Thirds. Actually, that's a much better name anyway, as you’ll see from the picture below.



Here you can see how the frame is divided into nine squares by the guidelines (see, told you it was a more apt name). The idea here is to place important elements of your picture either along a guideline, or close to where the guidelines cross. In the example above, you can see that the top of the seat is placed on the bottom line, as is the base of the building. This is effectively your horizon line. Next, the face of the subject is placed where two of the lines meet…and that’s it! Simple, right?

Sometimes, when you look at a photograph, it’s really easy to see where the grid lines would lie. In the image below, for instance, you can see the horizon between the buildings (where the car brake lights are), and how the buildings follow the vertical grid lines.





In the photo below, the only line that would be important is the horizon.




And in this image, Charlie Croker's face appears where the lines intersect. The horizon line is the seat of the chair.



The theory is, the brain finds things divided into thirds satisfying.


2: Centre and Symmetry

As the title suggests, sometimes a picture looks best when there is something in the centre. That's not to say that you should dispense with thirds. Weave them together. 

Try to achieve balance on both sides of the frame. Here, for example, the thirds guide comes into play with the horizon. Note that this time the horizon is along the top line would be. In previous examples, we had it along the bottom line. 


Same here...




In the image below, the horizon is on the lower line again.




 3: Leading Lines

Be aware of 'lines' in your frame, as you can use them to your advantage. Lines that lead the eye through a picture guide the viewer to an important part of the composition - if you locate something there, such as a person, as in the example below. The line used could be anything. In this image, it's a handrail. If you were shooting a landscape, for example, it could be a winding path between hills leading to a distant village, or a bright red postbox.




In the picture below, the bench's backrest and seat guides the eye in towards the subject.



4: Fill the Frame (and use Depth)

Ok, I'm cheating. This is two separate things, but they mix together very well. 

'Fill the frame' sounds obvious, but I see lots of pictures in which people haven't really thought about what they're trying to show. As a result, they include all sorts of 'extra stuff'. Is the irrelevant man loitering in the background looking bored really helping your composition? Probably not. Try moving closer to your subject. Resist using the camera's zoom. Instead, move the people in your picture until you're happy. People don't mind being taken charge of when they've got a camera pointed at them. They want to look good in the picture just as much as you want your picture to look good. 

Depth is the gin to frame filling's tonic. Bringing a person or an item closer to the front of the picture will help to fill the frame and, as a bonus, help make the picture more interesting by giving it a foreground, middle ground and background. Remember the guideline of thirds; that can be a huge help when you're trying to find balance within the frame.


So here we have a very clearly defined foreground and background as a result of moving someone forwards in the frame. The picture is more engaging as a result.



Below, the subject is placed in the middle ground to give the picture some depth. 



5: Point of View: The Ups and Downs of Photography

Those of you who have seen me working will know that I can frequently be found lying on the floor, climbing on a table or precariously hanging from something to get the right angle. Now, before the health and safety expert comes knocking on my door, I'm not suggesting you put yourself in danger. Standing on one leg on top of an office chair can be very dangerous, particularly if it has castors. I should know.

But there are lots of things you can do to make your point of view, and with it your picture, more interesting. Simple things such as kneeling down, holding the camera above your head or holding the camera at floor level will all help. 


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These hints and tips will help you become more thoughtful with your composition and with time more consistent. Don't tie yourself up in knots trying to make every picture you take fit to a rule, remember, photography should be enjoyed... 





  ProCam hints tips and instructions. Click for ProCam website.



Exposure has three components which are commonly referred to as the exposure triangle.
  1. Shutter Speed: controls the duration of exposure or in other words how long the shutter remains open. The slower the shutter speed, the more time light is allowed in to be captured by the camera sensor. However, longer exposure times may result in what is referred to camera shake or blurry photos if the camera is not held perfectly still. 
  2. ISO: determines how sensitive the camera sensor is to light. The higher the ISO the more noise is introduced into the shot.
  3. Aperture: refers to the diameter of the opening of the camera lens. Aperture controls the amount of light allowed to reach the sensor. 

Note: While shutter speed and ISO can be manually adjusted on iPhone, the aperture is fixed.

When either shutter speed or ISO are manually adjusted, the exposure button changes from a yellow AE to a white AE-L, indicating that exposure is locked an no longer in auto mode. 

To reset exposure back to auto mode, press the AE-L button. The exposure button will change to a yellow AE, indicating it is in auto mode. Alternatively, double tap the camera view to reset all parameters back to auto. 

Note: While in auto mode, the exposure (AE) value can be set between -8 and 8+. The camera will automatically and continuously adjusts ISO and shutter speed to achieve the selected exposure value. The default value is 0, which means that no changed were made to ISO or shutter speed. 

Note: The AE value does not reset back to 0 when auto mode is initiated as it is already in auto mode. Double tap the AE slider to reset the AE value back to 0.






To manually adjust focus, tap the AF button to select it and use the slider. Alternatively, the stepper buttons on each end can be used to make incremental adjustments. While focus is being adjusted, a focus assist zoom view will appear on the screen. This allows for more precise adjustments. Additionally, ProCam supports focus peaking, which highlights the areas in focus, allowing users to quickly focus the camera without missing critical shots. Focus peaking can be disabled under the PHOTO tab in the SET menu. 

Note:Press the AF-L button to unlock / reset focus back to auto. Double tap the camera view to reset all parameters back to auto. 






  1. Tap a focus point of interest on the camera view to auto adjust focus. 
  2. Press the AE button to select exposure compensation and use the slider or steppers to quickly adjust the lighting of a scene. 

Note: While in auto mode, the exposure (AE) value can be set between -8 and 8+. The camera will automatically and continuously adjusts ISO and shutter speed to achieve the selected exposure value. The default value is 0, which means that no changed were made to ISO or shutter speed. 

Note: The AE value does not reset back to 0 when auto mode is initiated as it is already in auto mode. This has to be performed by the user. 







  1. Tap an exposure point of interest on the camera view to auto adjust exposure. An alternative method is to use the exposure compensation slider. Please refer to the previous tutorial.
  2. Long press the AE button to lock exposure. The button's color changes to white and an -L is added to indicated that exposure is locked.
  3. Tap a focus point of interest to auto adjust focus. Exposure remains locked. 

Note: Press the AE button to unlock / reset exposure back to auto. Double tap the camera screen to reset all parameters back to auto.






As opposed to full manual exposure, where both shutter speed and ISO have to be manually set by the user, when in Shutter Priority Mode or ISO Priority Mode, when one is manually adjusted, the other is automatically adjusted by the camera.

When Shutter Priority is enabled, ISO is automatically adjusted in response to manual shutter speed adjustments. When ISO Priority is enabled, shutter speed is automatically adjusted in response to manual ISO adjustments. For example, a user may want to maintain a very low ISO to control noise, while having the camera adjust shutter speed to compensate.

Shutter Priority and ISO Priority are temporarily overridden when ISO/shutter speed is manually adjusted, respectively, and is re-engadged when exposure is reset back to auto by either pressing the AE-L button or double tapping the viewfinder.








So what is RAW? RAW is a file format that captures all the data recorded by the sensor. Unlike, JPEG, there is no compression and no loss of information. For this reason, RAW allows photographers work with a wider range of colors and tones. More importantly though, RAW allows the correction of imperfections in post, including under/over exposure, the recovery of highlights/shadows, and of course temperature and tint.

The above comparison shots clearly highlight the benefits of shooting in RAW.







So how does Portrait Mode work? Intelligent algorithms are used to measure the disparity between the two images captured by the dual lens system. Using the depth, a depth map is created as shown in the above example. The whitest areas represent those that are closest to the camera and the darkest those that are furthest away. The depth map is then used to mask the foreground and apply effects to the background.

ProCam's Portrait Mode doesn't directly apply a blur effect. Instead it stores the depth data in the image, which then can be used in post to apply a number of different effects. In the ProCam photo gallery, select a depth photo >>> press the Editing button >>> select the Depth editor option.

For best results, shoot in good lighting conditions and frame the subject about two feet away from the camera.

Note: Portrait Mode is only supported on iPhones with a dual camera system.

(REDPIX) Mon, 09 Apr 2018 22:26:13 GMT