Rule of thirds

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by asfixiate, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    I understand the rule of thirds but as someone who is very "adrian monkish" I always find myself looking all over the place anyways and still being interested in what i'm looking at.

    Could someone explain to me when the rule of thirds would not apply? Maybe post some examples.
     
  2. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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  3. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  4. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    There is no rule. Just look through the viewfinder to see if the subject works best off-center, as opposed to imagining some tic tac toe grid.

    A subject that would work best without it would be a very symetrical one.
     
  5. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Keith and nate! I was thinking stuff like that could work. A lot of others didn't like what that guy did but it looked like he put some time into it.

    pm63...There is no rule? What does that mean?
     
  6. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    That means don't listen to him. In many, many cases the rule of thirds is a good one to follow. Landscapes are more pleasing with the horizon is on the top or bottom third rather than in the middle. Animals are more pleasing when they are in one of the thirds with space open in the direction the animal is looking.
     
  7. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    My avatar for example. When people look at the original picture it was made from they're always like WOW that's a great picture!. It was with a 75-300mm kit lens.

    It captured attention so I think I accomplished a successful photo but I' don't think the rule of thirds was followed to the T
     
  8. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In your avatar, that sort of works. the eyes help offset the picture in a good way.
     
  9. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. Now that I'm pretty comfortable with the technical aspects(still and always learning)I want to make sure I stay creative.

    Would you recommend your 70-200 f/2.8 Sigma?
     
  10. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 TPF Noob!

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    I've found the Rule of Thirds to be very over-rated. It's just a suggestion, not a rule. The only reason it is hyped up so much is because it is the first one people learn, so it sticks. Try other things. Try a radial composition.
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Rules are made to be broken! ;)
     
  12. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It is simply a guideline which doesn't apply when a composition works for you that doesn't utilize the guideline.

    The first shot in the example thread provided would (IMO) have been improved by the application of this guideline. Cropping the top 1/4 of the shot would have placed the mask in the top 1/3 of the image. Again IMO, more appealing. What does the light fixture have to do with the image content?

    Instead of working to disregard this humble little guideline (typical) and become, "creative." I'd think the next logical progression is to understand how this 'rule' came about, and why it tends to work to make a photo more appealing. Maybe check out the 'golden section', and 'Fibonacci series' of numbers (I think that's the names).

    I also think there are correlations between photography, music, and architecture... - in a word, mathematics. The good kind, like trigonometry or calculus. Understanding the parts of beauty, appeal and the underlying logical principle is more important than a common, and typical hastiness to 'throw out' the guidelines (things man has developed over thousands of years), for the sake of superficial 'creativity' in composition.

    Composition should be natural, by having all of the above become second nature if there is no initial understanding.

    Examples?- Study images, all of them. If you like them, The guidelines are most likely there. If not, the guides probably aren't. And again IMO, rarely does the uniqueness of the subject outweigh proper composition. If it does, it's probably a snapshot.
     

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