help with rule of thirds.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Kathleen, May 9, 2007.

  1. Kathleen

    Kathleen TPF Noob!

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    I'm a little confused with the rule of thirds. I know that you should imagine a grid somewhat like tic-tac-toe and place the subject on one of the crossing lines. My problem lies with setting it up. Do I focus on the item that I'd like to have as my subject by using the center dot in the viewfinder (lock the focus or hold button) and then shift away from subject, placing it at one of the imagined cross lines? I hope this makes sense.
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    You can focus however you want. Some people manual focus. Some people focus and lock. Some people select an alternate focus point and use that. It's up to you. I always focus first and then compose.
     
  3. gizmo2071

    gizmo2071 TPF Noob!

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    Matt described ways to focus, but about that image you posted.
    If you twisted the angle slightly, you could have got the background flower on the other line of 3rd, I just think that would have made it more balanced :)
     
  4. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    unless I'm on a tripod I always use my center focus point, lock, and recompose.
     
  5. MPowerM3

    MPowerM3 TPF Noob!

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    How do you lock the focus on a Canon Rebel Xt, anyone know?
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm fairly sure it's in the manual.

    Typically, you press the shutter release button half way down, let it focus and then hold it there until it's time to snap the shot.

    I'm not sure if the Rebel cameras have thumb buttons...*...but on my 20D, I changed custom function #4 so that AF is controlled with this button rather than the shutter button.
     
  7. MPowerM3

    MPowerM3 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Big Mike, I guess that was pretty easy huh, back on topic!
     
  8. Kathleen

    Kathleen TPF Noob!

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    With your help tucked in my noggin, I just went for a stroll through the woods. Although I'm sure this shot has its faults, I hope that I'm getting the idea of the rule of thirds??
     
  9. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Yes, you did place the flower on a third, BUT, you have lots of distracting/confusing elements in the photo cluttering it up, most notably in the bottom left corner.

    About the "rule" of thirds. Don't think of it as a rule. Think of it as, "the reason why some photos look good". It's just a suggestion. If the elements in your scene are going to get in the way by using thirds, then you simply don't do it. Every composition has to suit the subject and where/how it's being photographed. Something like this photo might have been better served with a macro.
     
  10. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

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    The rebel does have that ability. I personally prefer focus lock to be on 1/2 shutter but you can set it to * if you want
     
  11. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    same here. My half shutter locks the focus as well as the exposure so what I am focusing on is done right. Of course pressing the exposure lock button prior to the focus lock takes that exposure instead and does nothing when I lock the focus. Locking them both makes recomposing very quick and painless.

    I bring this up because if your camera is only locking focus and then you recompose you run the risk of not exposing for the in focus subject and that can cause problems.
     
  12. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    that is how i do it .. compose, then point my camera at whatever should be in focus and half press the shutter to focus, then recompose and plopp, take the picture.

    remember the rule of thirds is not really a "rule" .. it is just an idea which works in some cases. if by applying it you create a lot of empty space you have to be careful about that space creating something, if not, then you image might just lose balance in a bad way.

    also it does not have to be thirds always ;) depending on the geometry of the subject, halfs can do it or even sixths ;)
     

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