We often superimpose a mental grid over things we photograph to help with composition. This week, let’s go literal.

Photo by Michelle W.

As photographers, we often envision grids over scenes we’re shooting to hone in on that just-so composition — goodness knows we’ve talked enough here about the rule of thirds, one of the simplest and most effective ways to use a grid to improve our photographs. Some of us also use grid overlays baked into our cameras and phones to help.

This week, let’s take the humble grid out of the shadows, and make it the star.

girding in abandoned casino

Photo by Michelle W.

The oceanfront boardwalk in Asbury Park, New Jersey, is lined with restaurants, shops, playgrounds — and the brooding hulk of a long-abandoned casino, built during the town’s heyday as a posh seaside resort in the 1920s, and abandoned during the town’s heyday as a locus of economic woes and racial tensions in the 1970s. Looking through the casino’s skeleton down the stretch of now-revitalizing boardwalk is to look through a stark grid of exposed girding that frames land and sky with steel beams.

This week, make a grid the centerpiece of your photo. Next week, they can lapse back into our photographic subconscious, but this week, let’s give them some time in the sun!

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