Rule of 3 (or Thirds)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Markie Madden, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. Markie Madden

    Markie Madden TPF Noob!

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    I saw this in several different places, one being a tutorial done by users of my photo software, called Paint.net. It rang a vague bell from what I learned in high school. Fortunately it was a decent tutorial complete with screen shots. So here's my first attempt at a crop using the rule of thirds. This is the original. Flower.JPG


     
  2. Markie Madden

    Markie Madden TPF Noob!

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    And this, assuming my phone cooperates, should be the crop.
    Flower Crop.jpg
     
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  3. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    I think you have misunderstood the 'rule of thirds.'
    Try this link and see if it is meaningful Rule of Thirds - Digital Photography School

    OOPS, now you've posted the crop and I feel silly.
    I would look at some way to remove that little distracting thingie on the right.
     
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  4. Markie Madden

    Markie Madden TPF Noob!

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    You mean the other flower?
     
  5. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Do you want comments on that photo about issues other than the crop?
     
  6. Markie Madden

    Markie Madden TPF Noob!

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    It was just a shot I was messing with for the rule of thirds, the example I saw in one tutorial was of the Washington Monument so I tried to find something similar around the house. I just wanted something to practice on in regards to the crop.

    But, if you'd like to give other comments, just be gentle with me, remember, it's my first time :p!
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The rule of thirds is kind of a modern-era shortcut, and not a very academic, studied thing. It's one of the shortcut ways that have been developed to dumb-down composition to a bite-sized sort of soundbite equivalent. There are many,many,many images that do not use this so-caleld "rule". In fact, the rule of thirds has lead to a strategy where many beginners place people 1/3 of the way off to the "short" side of a horizontal frame, have the people look toward the short side of the frame, and then, fill the other 2/3 of the frame with absolutely useless dead space.

    Photos and Stuff Kill The Rule of Thirds

    Photos and Stuff Rule of Thirds Redux

    Just some background information that you might find helpful.
     
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  8. Markie Madden

    Markie Madden TPF Noob!

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    Oh, I understand that many rules are made to be broken, as stated in the above linked article in The Traveler's post. But as I'm just learning how to manipulate images, I saw it in the tutorial and wanted to give it a try. Stuff like this, I learn best by doing. And, it might be simpler even to just frame the shot this way when you shoot it, if possible.
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    If you wish to learn about photographic composition, I would go to this web site, and check out the free articles the author offers. He has an #abolishROT hashtag there. The "rule of thirds" is really NOT a fundamental of design, nor of composition, but more of a modern-era urban legend, a bit of folk wisdom, something easily passed along in a sentence or two, and honestly, it's NOT, in any way, part of design,nor compositional theory.

    Canon of Design Table of Contents

    Don't worry about the rule of thirds, because honestly, it is not important. It's NOT the key to composition. The elements and principles of design are what one wants to understand. The actual, real, academic principles of the field of design, not the misinformed folk wisdom from Popular Mechanics magazine.

    Your flower photo for example, has a serious problem with repetition of lines; extremely patterned background; and a strong figure/ground problem. Those fundamental issues are something that the "rule of thirds" cannot overcome. The issue is that the brickwork has an exceptionally strong pattern; THAT is what dominates the image--the strong, repeating pattern, with very strong, numerous lines. The background in your photo is very,very strong, but the foreground subject, is very small. The background is a mass of shapes, in repetition. With a very strong horizontal direction. Of uniform size. And a hard, masonry texture. The dominance is all in the background.

    If you look here, you will see what is meant by the elements and principles of design.
    Elements and principles of design
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  10. Markie Madden

    Markie Madden TPF Noob!

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    Well it did teach me something useful. I've been trying to figure out how to put grid lines or some other type of reference into images, for example, when I want to put text into an image like I would do for a book cover. In other words, a line or two that would show me where the center or the edge would be, so all the text lines up.
     
  11. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    All of that can be done easily with the various options on the crop tool.
    That will superimpose a grid or thirds lines, etc and then you can put temporary lines on the photo to act as guides
     
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  12. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I would caution you (and any newbie) about trying to adhere to some arbitrary compositional "rules". As Derrel has written, that is simply a shorthand attempt to teach some principles of composition that newbs can understand and follow.

    Yes, it is in editing that you can often crop the image to improve the balance, and your example has done something along those lines.

    Get hold of some reading material on composition, and realize there are other "rules" put into play as well. The problem with our fast-paced life these days is that everyone wants a shortcut. A shortcut to winning a game, a shortcut to reading a novel, and a shortcut to composition, when learning as much as you can about it will yield an "intuitive" feel for composition for which you don't have to ponder the "rules" as you're composing.
     
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