? on the rule-of-thirds, when is it OK not to use?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Sonoma, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Sonoma

    Sonoma No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    350
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    NW Indiana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I seem to have a very bad habit of wanting to center everything in my "snapshots". I just wanted to know if the first two examples below justify not using the rule-of-thirds because of the road leading to the covered bridges. If not is there something I could have done differently? The third picture is centered, but I think it's OK. Don't you?

    Also, these are old photos I know, but they fit the bill for the question at hand. The wife and I are going back to this area this fall and I intend to take pictures of as many of these bridges as possible.(over 30 in the county).

    Thanks
    Gary

    1.)
    [​IMG]

    2.)[​IMG]

    3.)[​IMG]
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,820
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Montreal
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    there is no real rule as to when to apply the rule of thirds. Its a guideline that needs to be considered when taking an image.

    Its based off of which parts of the frame have the biggest impact on the viewer. But sticking to the rule is not always the best way to go.

    I've done some where I felt centering was the best option and people disagreed. Doesnt make them right or wrong, its their artistic impression.

    It is a guideline that should be used along with other guidelines.

    Your first image is a snapshot to me. Why? Well, there is alot of distracting stuff on the side of the bridge, which is what you say is the main focus of your image. If you were to move in and fill the frame more with the bridge, it would be fine by me to have the road in the middle.

    If you want to show the bridge in the scene, the applying the rule of thirds might be a better idea as it will balance out the scene a bit more. Which is what you seemed to do in your second posted image

    The third image is alright being centered in my eyes, considering your subject. I would of zoomed out a little bit more and maybe tried to play with that diagonal board and the graffiti on it.

    Note that all my comments are based on the framing only, not the rest of the image. I find all the subject matters and the way you shot them bland. Which is another key in taking a nice image, finding something interesting.

    If I may say, one thing you could look at doing is not just standing straight up and shooting something. You need to explore new and interesting angles when doing photography. Lying down looking up, hold the camera over your head, move in really tight and tilt the camera to one side...

    When finding something new and fun to shoot, force yourself to take 10 images of the same thing. Each image should have a different angle, a different setting (depth of field), a different focal range. Dont leave the scene until you have those 10 shots.

    This is a way of training your creative eye.

    Hope this helps..
     
  3. Ron Evers

    Ron Evers Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Messages:
    6,054
    Likes Received:
    1,893
    Location:
    In the country just north of Toronto, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The first two are not centred & in my opinion well composed to allow one to see the inside structure of the bridge. However, sometimes a centred image has greater impact than it would if the rule of thirds was applied. One just has to "see" which will work better.

    I offer this example of a centred shot, do you not think it would look awkward otherwise?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,076
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The rule of thirds is a good rule to follow and most often produces a shot with better composition, particularly in landscape shooting. There are of course some shots that are limited by the photographer's inflexible position (on the edge of a cliff etc.) or visual distractions in other areas of the scene that prevent changing the framing of the shot.

    In some cases centring may be the only option.

    skieur
     
  5. ghache

    ghache TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    3,570
    Likes Received:
    295
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    here an example of a centered image that i think works. there is no really usage of the rule of third here

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Ron Evers

    Ron Evers Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Messages:
    6,054
    Likes Received:
    1,893
    Location:
    In the country just north of Toronto, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    And here is one not centred - take your pick.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. PenguinPhotoWrx

    PenguinPhotoWrx TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Eatontown, NJ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The first picture is fine... even though it is centered, so is the tree in the background over the bridge. And you have similar colors on each side of the bridge for balance.

    The second one doesn't work for me because the bridge is on the wrong third of the picture- it should be on the left because the bridge is slanting away from you. If someone were walking across the bridge toward the camera, they should be walking toward the center of the frame, not off the frame.

    The third one is a great shot because even though the window is centered, to me the subject is the body of water which has a "S" shape through the frame. The window pulls you eye out to the distance, which is what windows are supposed to do. The graphiti is a bit distracting so maybe you can edit that out in post processing, but otherwise I think it's an excellent photo.

    In summary, rules of composition are rules of thumb, nothing more. You should have a good reason for breaking them- but if your eye likes it better when breaking the rule, that's good enough for me. I may or may not like the photo either way- it is all up to the viewer anyway. But you have to be happy with the photo before anyone else is.

    But that's also the beauty of digital photography- it doesn't really cost you anything to experiment with different angles, perspective, and composition- shoot away! In the old days, it cost money to do that.
     
  8. DanFinePhotography

    DanFinePhotography TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Messages:
    680
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Redmond, OR
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    i prefer not to call it "rule" of thirds. Rather call it "Guidelines" of thirds, there really shouldn't be rules especially when its ok to go against the guideline from time to time. Centered or non framed shots can look great with a ton of variables.
     
  9. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,076
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Part of my background is in languages and linguistics, so "rule" fits. It should be applied whenever possible and most of the time results in better composition. Often by the way, I think that changing the camera angle from straight on to a diagonal angle creates more visual tension, a better shot, and the ability to use thirds better in composition.

    skieur
     
  10. Sonoma

    Sonoma No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    350
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    NW Indiana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks to everyone for the replies! I will definitely be going back now to try and improve these with the information you have given me. The photos by Orionsbyte are far better than mine! That's what I hope to accomplish on the next trip. Thanks again Gary
     
  11. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,820
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Montreal
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Sounds good, but to most people, a rule is something that should never be broken. I dont have a background in linguistics and hell, english isnt my first language. :)
     
  12. hartz

    hartz TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Why doesn't cameras support the "rule of thirds" by having focus sensor areas at these interesting points?

    When I decide to put things off-centre, I often find the exact 3rd lines distracting and in stead prefer to place subjects nearer 1/4-line intersection points!

    Either way I go afterwards and crop away whatever seems to offend - space, noise, distracting or busy areas.

    Or I just post it on facebook (where everybody loves every photo)

    Edited: P.S. I love the color in nr 3. If I came across this bridge I think I would have either zoomed in more to focus on the bridge building more, or else zoomed out to place it in a landscape, but as it is it doesn't work that well. For a different perspective I would have liked a slightly wider shot, taken from near road level, with the bridge centered. The Grafiti side of the bridge looks bad because the trees in the shot are too distracting.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
bad examples of rule of thirds
,
bad rule of thirds examples
,
non rule of thirds
,
not rule of thirds
,

rule of thirds

,
rule of thirds bad examples
,
when is the rule of thirds not helpful?
,
when is the rule of thirds used
,

when not to use rule of thirds

,
when not to use the rule of thirds