Today we are once again gonna talk about photography composition. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all composition guide that works for every image. But I’ll show you all the techniques you’ll need. Once more such composition technique is the Left to Right Rule.
This rule simply states that if a subject is moving from one side of your frame to the other, it’s best to photograph them moving from the left side of the frame to the right side of the frame. The logic behind this is that in many languages we read from left to right. It’s that simple really. Our eyes are used to moving from the left to the right. So we subconsciously expect a subject to move from left to right in an image.
How to include the Left to Right Rule in Your Photography?
1. Non-Moving Subjects – Images that work well for left-to-right viewers might have the subject positioned over to the right-hand side of the frame, with negative space to the left. This lets the eye move through the empty space and stop on the subject, without going out of the other side of the frame.
2. Moving Subjects – When shooting action photographers might show the subject moving left-to-right, with some space on the right-hand side to help the viewer imagine what’s going to happen next.
3. Rule of Thirds – The best way to help you compose in-camera is to turn on gridlines in the camera and click your subject along the lines. Make sure you include more space in front of a moving subject to the right of the frame. In the case of a nonmoving subject, the composition should be such that our eyes should move from left to right and hence subconsciously match with our way of reading.
Following this rule is quite subjective. Because we don’t read from left to right in every language. Even where we do read from left to right, many photographers feel that the direction in which we read is irrelevant to photography composition.
According to me, I should not be hesitant to click just because the subject is moving from right to left. Coz I may not get that moment again. So I should not miss it. I may flip my photograph in post-production. But sometimes it may make my image look unnatural. So I try to capture scenes where the movement is from left to right, but also don’t stop myself from clicking just because it is not.
But in the case of portrait or wedding photography, I may be able to follow this rule more effectively as I can precompose my shot and ask my subject to move in that specific way or direction.
So should you use the left to right rule in your photography? Whilst there is no right answer, especially if you speak languages from both sides of the world, this concept is still worth considering the next time you compose your image. But please don’t force it or follow it blindly. Make sure you place your subject where the eye will naturally gravitate.
I hope you liked my blog. Do let me know your suggestions and thoughts in the comments section. Thank you!
Also Read – Rule Of Space in Photography
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