Pho-dog-raphy Project

3 Good Picture Qualities

In this post, we will go through a few pictures showing the different aspects of a good picture. There are three professionally taken pictures and three taken by myself. After viewing each original, I will draw on them to demonstrate the technique being used to make the picture more powerful. The techniques being covered are rule of thirds, depth of focus, and leading lines. I will reveal as much as I can about the photographers or websites the pictures were found on. The theme for this is clearly dogs and based on my love of dogs.

Depth of Focus

Depth of focus

Depth of focus is when an object is in focus to show an emphasis and the surrounding areas are blurred. This is meant to redirect the eyes back to the main subject of the photo. In the above, everything surrounding the dog lying in the leaves is blurred. The dog and the closest surrounding leaves are in focus. This picture is found on and is by photographer Alex.

Depth of focus

In this picture, I outlined the central focus that the photographer wanted to emphasize. You can see that everything behind the dog is blurred to keep the audiences’ attention on the dog. The dog’s color blends well with the leaves on the ground. We can even see that the leaves in front of the dog are blurred as well. This creates the effect of having only the subject in focus.

Depth of focus

This picture was taken in my small apartment with my dog, Ares. He is a beautiful Siberian Husky and looks pretty photogenic. Clearly he likes shoes because he and the shoe are the main things in focus. The background is less blurred than the previous example, but you can still see where the focus is.

depth of focus

Everything behind Ares gets progressively blurred. His proximity and closeness to the camera makes him the main attraction of the picture. Surrounding him is a red line showing where the picture begins to get blurred. This is how it represents depth of focus. Luckily my smart phone focuses where I tell it to, but it can be hard to get the desired effect without altering settings on a good camera.

Rule of Thirds

Rule of thirds

In this picture, the dog is placed in a specific position. If you break the picture into thirds both vertically and horizontally, you can see where the subject should be placed for emphasis. This is called rule of thirds. The picture comes from a dog training website. It can be found at and the author isn’t displayed.

Rule of thirds

As you can see, the dog’s head is placed at the intersection of the directional planes. If the lines were precisely measured, the dog’s body might even follow the line closer. The arm would also be closer to the horizontal line to make the interaction between human and dog the main focus. This particular picture demonstrates depth of focus as well.

This is a picture taken by me from my new apartment complex. The view seen above can be seen from Pioneer Road in Rexburg. It looks toward the city of Rexburg. As you can see the horizon is matching up with the rule of thirds principle. The long bottom two-thirds of the picture emphasizes the horizon when our eyes reach it.

Breaking the picture up using the rule of thirds makes it clear that the horizon was intentionally placed there in this picture. I tried my best to get the horizon on the upper third line to place emphasis there. Luckily my phone has the ability to show the lines for rule of thirds. Having the horizon there creates an extra contrast between the foreground and the background.

Leading Lines

Leading Lines

This Golden Retriever above is majestically jumping over a wall of some kind. The wall leading up to the dog and behind the dog is blurred. It prevents me from identifying what kind of wall this is. The waves are creating the rule of thirds effect. The wall itself is leading to the dog and our eyes follow it. This is how leading lines work. It makes our eyes follow lines to the subject of the picture.

For this duplicate, I drew lines by the leading lines. This shows how they lead us to the dog. The color of the dog makes a strong contrast to the background blues of the ocean. Blurring out the ocean was a good choice because it could have distracted us from the subject, especially a beautiful background like this. An ocean background could easily detract our attention from the dog jumping over a fence.

This amateur photo is taken by me and is another shot of my dog, Ares. The tile on the floor creates lines that lead to the dog. Having the lines lead to Ares really emphasizes him in this picture. His back is placed close to a rule of thirds horizontal line. This is Ares in his happy state: lying on a cool floor. The lighting isn’t the best, but it still demonstrates leading lines.

This copy of the picture shows exactly where the leading lines are placed. We find ourselves following the lines on the floor. These lines lead all the way to Ares in his resting spot. His color blends in quite well with the tile and surrounding colors. The location and colors make it seem rustic.


Rule of thirds, depth of field, and leading lines all play a part in identifying the subject of each photo. Leading lines can help direct our attention by following lines with our eyes. Rule of thirds helps to place the subjects in effective and influential positions to catch our eye. Depth of field is used to blur backgrounds that could otherwise distract us. These can be extra effective when there appears to be too much going on in our pictures. Combinations of these styles can make photos even more powerful.




Types of Advertising

Tour Dates


This advertisement belongs to a music band called Mayday Parade. They designed this to go along wit their album cover art. It contains their tour dates for their current concert series. It can be found all over their website: As album art usually is, it is random designs meant to capture the essence of their music and the audiences’ attention.

Analysis For Type 1

Tour Dates


The word “milestones” is boxed in. This word stands out and has a different font type than the rest of the advertisement. As you can see, there are serifs at the edge of each letter. Some of the letters connect their serifs with others as well. Based on having serifs, I would have guessed it was a slab serif type. Looking a bit closer, I noticed that there are noticeable transitions from thick to thin strokes in the lettering. This led me to understand the type to be a more decorative type.

Analysis For Type 2

Tour Dates

Sans Serif

Underneath “milestones,” the album name and purpose for the tour are found. The lettering is thin and has no noticeable transitions with the thickness of the letters. It doesn’t have serifs like the other style previously covered. In fact, serifs can’t be found anywhere on this type. “Romantics” seems to be embolden a little bit or perhaps whiter to jump out at us.


Tour Dates

The biggest way of contrasting was the difference of capital letters and lowercase letters. The decorative type is uppercase and the sans serif is lowercase. They draw attention to themselves in different ways in an intentional order. The kerning in “milestones” removes all space from the letters. There is no space left and it leaves the letters touching. The lowercase sans serif type has some space between each letters that is evenly distributed. Size differences draw the eye to the decorative type first. Being bigger means it needs a thicker appearance to keep our attention and not appear too frail. One has thick to thin transitions and the other is consistent throughout.


With the bigger font type, it definitely needed to be thicker or it would almost disappear in the strong color background. The balance of thick and thick is a theme throughout this advertisement. Thicker styles draw attention to the words and the eye follows the differences in style. It provides us with the emphasis of certain words and ideas that need to be appreciated or enjoyed with the band.

Engineering Water Into Life


The picture being analyzed is from There isn’t an author listed, but this website designs advertisements in New Delhi.  New Delhi has had their fair share of water problems. This is a particular appealing argument for them. A lot of their website is in a different language, so it can be hard to gather specific information on the creation of this advertisement. It was created on May 1st of 2011.


Fish Color

I wanted to outline three different uses of color. These colors are different from their gray and white scheme. The red is used to emphasize their main point and reason for the advertisement. It stands out and appears to be irrefutable. Orange emphasizes the representation of live because that is what this art is about. The black handle representing waste, darkness, or even death, does a great job of drawing our attention to it.


This whole promotional picture does a splendid job of using contrast. The white fades to dark gray colors to keep attention focused on the center of the picture. The colors that aren’t part of the white and gray struggle for power exist on the inside of the bowl. It clearly demonstrates life and energy being on the inside and is where we want to be. We want to promote life and the conserving of water. Through the dark exit of blackness that could represent death, we find emptiness and space. These contrasts emphasize the main points and make it appear more dramatic.


Fish proximity

The proximity of placing the wording in the middle of the empty space of the bowl gives us plenty of room to focus. Our eyes are directed to the words floating in the bowl to help us discover why we are looking at a picture of a fish. Having the empty space all fade into gray helps us to refocus on the issues being discussed inside the fish bowl.


alignment of fish

The alignment of the wording keeps us focused and the thoughts organized. This is a left alignment and helps to demonstrate organization inside the fish bowl. It is all part of making the inside of the fish bowl seem like the sophisticated part of the picture where humanity wants to be. The positioning of the words in the middle of the blank space tells us how to avoid having emptiness inside the bowl with the phrase displayed. It is how we avoid ultimate, worldly emptiness.



The phrasing portrayed uses repetition. Both lines begin with “save” and end with the comparison. It directs us to the conclusion they want us to arrive at. The use of emptiness is recurring and helps us look for ways to avoid it. This makes the advertisement much more powerful. The use of water is recurring and we get a dreary feeling when we see it being wasted in the picture. It draws a gloomy feeling to the outside of the bowl and maintains life on the inside by having enough.


These principles can become confusing when you start to see how interconnected they truly are. The colors can bring thoughts and feelings to mind by contrasting different ideas. Repeating designs and ideas helps us stay focused and really internalize the principles discussed. Order, professionalism, and idealism help us give credibility to the designers and keep us from getting distracted. This picture is simple, but can still be powerful by applying simple principles to arrange it in a way that impacts us and appeals to our senses.




Class Notes Summary 1

Today was the first day that we got information on the resources at BYU Idaho. There are many opportunities here at school to get the experience to progress toward our future careers. The outdoors and sports groups we learned about won’t have much impact on preparing me for future employment. I have a passion for writing, and working my way up the school newspaper, The Scroll, could look good on a resume and play into public relations. Soap box has a public relations group that could be worked in to gain experience in the field.