Can someone explain the "rule of thirds" to me?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Dandy-Warhol, May 17, 2004.

  1. Dandy-Warhol

    Dandy-Warhol TPF Noob!

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    Can someone explain the "rule of thirds" to me as if I'm an 8 year old??

    The page provided in the THEME forum may have explained it perfect in English, but for me to translate that and put it in to a good Dutch translation is a bit more difficult.

    thanks in advance :)

    Eric (formerly known as BMW-M6)
     
  2. cfoto

    cfoto TPF Noob!

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  3. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I wouldn't consider that image to be a strong rule-of-thirds. There isn't much that falls right on a third line or intersection. His body is almost centered on the right third line, but the balance is really to the right more. The muscle of his underarm runs almost exactly from the top line to the bottom line, so that is an element.

    This isn't a bad thing. A lot of my images don't follow the thirds closely either. I don't think it's the best example for someone learning, is all. I do like the image.

    Here are a couple that I think have pretty tight rule-of-thirds.

    [​IMG]

    In this one, her body follows the bottom third line to the lower-right intersection, then up the right third line, which is right in the middle of her torso. While her feet are lower the the botttom third and her thighs are higher, it's a pretty even balance. This would have been an even stronger thirds image if I had left the original crop where her right foot and her head were right on the intersections. I decided to crop in as I wanted more intimacey. This is an example of not following the "rules" to the letter if you have a reason not to.

    Here's another:

    [​IMG]

    For both boys, the top line runs through their ears and the verticals are right in the middle of their heads. On the closer boy, is runs right down his left leg. Since he has most his weight on that foot, his center of gravity is almost exactly on that third line.

    The funny thing is, I did not compose this with the rule-of-thirds in mind. It just looked right to me. When someone says a photographer has a "natural eye", all it really means is that they have an unconscious understanding of these basic ideas. That's why I believe being a good photographer can be learned. Some people have a head start is all, and those who have a visual mind will have an easier time with it, but I don't believe you have to be born with this stuff.
     
  4. Dandy-Warhol

    Dandy-Warhol TPF Noob!

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    Thanks!

    Me comprende now padro! ;)
     

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