Rule of thirds

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by eccs19, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. eccs19

    eccs19 TPF Noob!

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    I understand the rule of thirds, and I know there are always exceptions to the rules. I'm just trying to get my head around how rule of thirds applies to portrait pictures. I can see one direction, but the other, not sure. Always see portrait pictures centered. Anyone have any good examples I could see? I'm interested to see how it's normally handled.

    thanks!
     
  2. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    You can use the focal points for eyes and the top horizontal for the eye line in a more 'centered' portrait, putting less emphasis on the left and right verticals.

    Here's an example, though the left vertical is used rather well:

    http://photography-tips.co.uk/images/ruleofthirds2.jpg
     
  3. Ron Evers

    Ron Evers Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yea but, I would say my wife took that pic as the gilrs head is cut off. ;)
     
  4. djrichie28

    djrichie28 TPF Noob!

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    You can centre the person along the horizontal which should look ok providing you are planning to fill most of the frame. Put the subjects eyes on the top 'third' line. Level the tip of their nose with the bottom of their ears. After, have them do the funky chicken. lol.
     
  5. eccs19

    eccs19 TPF Noob!

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    The horizontal part I understand. Eyes basically on the top third line, just not sure about the vertical. Most that I see (including the example) mostly seem centered. The example is a little off to the side, but not what I would think of as being a third.
     
  6. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    The rule of thirds is a guideline. You don't necessarily have to be using all of the lines to make a good picture. People routinely throw out one of the verticals and one of the horizontals and it still 'obeys' the rule.
     
  7. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    If that image had that girl's head full on, she'd look like a conehead :) At least in my cropping experiments, I think you can get away with cropping off part of the top of the head, but chins almost always need to be up in the frame a ways.
     
  8. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That doesnt necessarily mean its not an excellent picture. Ive seen lots of close up shots that cut off the forehead to zoom in on the eyes. So crisp n clear.
     
  9. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    rotate the person so you can't see one of their ears, just slightly, so it's just out of sight and keep their eyes on the line that divides the top third. It's pretty standard portrait junk. Make sure you are using like an 85 or 135 lens (so there isn't any unflattering distortion) and a bright aperture, and focus on the eyes.
     
  10. RockDawg

    RockDawg TPF Noob!

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    I don't mean to hijack this thread, but can you elaborate on this please? I'm not sure what kind of distortion you're talking about. How would using an 85 or 135 differ from using say a 50 (other than shooting distance)?
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  11. eccs19

    eccs19 TPF Noob!

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  12. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008

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